I always cringe when seeing myself in a video but Manjula has insisted we post this one on the Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture homepage. It's a segment we did for The Weather Channel during the summer and it's about the link between your furniture and the environment– and the weather of course. Specifically it talks about the rainforest, how it's disappearing at a rate of 1 football field/second and the fact that it's being clear-cut to supply timber for cheap furniture imports.
If you're someone who drives an eco-friendly fuel efficient car, you may be interested to know that your choice of furniture has a bigger impact on the environment than your car choice. That's because deforestation is repsonsible for a greater contribution to air pollution and global warming than the entire transportation sector.
Take a minute to watch our nationally broadcast video segment about American made furniture crafted from sustainably harvested wood and let us know what you think. We'll look forward to hearing from you!
The Nature Conservancy is one of our favorite charities here at Vermont Woods Studios. TNC has been working to protect Earth’s most important natural places — for us and future generations— for nearly 60 years. They are one of the leading conservation organizations in the world and their reputation for great science and smart partnerships is renowned.
Plant A Billion Trees is one of TNCs ongoing projects that dovetails with our mission of forest preservation at Vermont Woods Studios. The goal is to save one of the world’s most endangered rainforests, The Brazilian Atlantic Forest:
“Animal and plant life of every imaginable kind live under the lush, green canopy of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. High in the treetops, golden lion tamarins forage for food while woolly spider monkeys gather fruit and nuts. Blue-winged macaws, red-tailed parrots and countless other birds call out while elusive jaguars prowl the forest floor.”
The strategy is to plant a tree for every dollar raised: one dollar, one tree, one planet. You’ll start to see fundraising buttons on our site as we get this project up and running over the next few months. Our goal is to raise $2000 for the initiative. You can make a lasting difference now and for future generations. All it takes is a dollar. Thanks for your help!
Many thanks to Matt Levine of Natural Business News whose article on Vermont Woods Studios fine handcrafted furniture appeared in their June issue. Matt thinks our retractable pop up TV console is the coolest thing for techies wanting to go green. He also featured our Vermont Modern Bed with the retractable TV lift built into the footboard… for couch potato techies who want to watch a stylish flat screen TV without leaving the comfort of their own beds.
Check out Matt’s LevineReport for interesting articles on all types of natural businesses. Best of luck with your excellent publication, Matt!
We often take weeks or even months to pick out our furniture and make sure it's perfect for our family and our home. But have you ever wondered where your furniture comes from? More and more people are feeling that the origin and crafting of their furniture is just as important as the look, style and feel of it. Families want to know that they have made a socially and environmentally responsible choice with regard to how their furniture is made.
Over the past several years, over half of our handcrafted furniture has been made with natural cherry wood. It's not a species that grows very well in Vermont so we use wood from the Allegheny forest region of Pennsylvania, which is known for its sustainable forest management practices.
A few facts about natural cherry wood, courtesy of the American Hardwood Information Center:
- Cherry is a fruit tree, of course
- The average cherry tree height is 60 to 80 feet
- Cherry trees can live to the extreme ages of 150 to 200 years
- American Colonists used the cherry tree for its fruit, medicinal properties and home furnishings.
- They mixed cherry juice with rum to create Cherry Bounce, a bitter but highly favored cordial.
- The bark was used in the production of drugs to treat bronchitis
- Cherry stalks were used to make tonics
- Surprisingly, cherry trees belong to the rose family
More and more customers are contacting us these days looking for non-toxic, natural furniture. For some people natural products are just an integral part of their lifestyle while others are trying to cope with newly-identified sensitivities and allergies they are tracing back to home furnishings and flooring.
I thought it might be helpful to list some of the questions one should ask when purchasing natural eco furniture:
- What type of wood is used?
- Where does the wood come from?
- How is the wood processed? Are chemicals used in processing? What kind of chemicals?
- What type of finish and/or stain is used? Is it a low VOC or no VOC finish-stain? Can you supply an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for the finish?
- What type of glue is used? Is it non-toxic? Does it contain formaldehyde? MSDS available?
- Where is the furniture made and by whom?
- How is the furniture packaged for shipment?
If you haven't been able to watch Ken Burn's new film on America's National Parks, it's not too late. This is a six episode series and every nature lover will want to enjoy the spectacular scenery, interesting history and urgent call to action that Burns presents. At Vermont Woods Studios being a wood furniture maker, we're particularly interested in the issues of sustainable forestry in the national parks.
One of our favorite national parks mentioned in this film series is Sequoia National Forest. Sequoias are the largest trees ever to inhabit the earth, growing to heights of 300 feet and diameters of 30 feet! Their ages commonly range from 2,000 to 3,000 years. Some were 1000 years old during the time of Christ!
Although once widespread, giant sequoias now occur only in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central California. If you have literally 2 minutes to spare, you can take action to protect the Giant Sequoias and other ancient forest in America. Visit Save America's Forests, click on Instant Letter and in 2 minutes or less you can send a letter to your representatives in Congress asking them to stop destructive forms of logging, such as clearcutting, and to protect ecologically important forest areas such as Ancient forests and roadless forests.
Then pat yourself on the back for doing an awesome job in protecting the environment and fighting global warming!