Sustainable Eco Friendly Furniture from Vermont
With yet another snowstorm on it’s way to Vermont, my mind is longing for Spring. How about you? Perhaps a few images of green grass and the birds and the bees (courtesy of Polyvore) will hurry things along?

In Vermont the seasons are still tied to production of wood furniture.  Winter provides the best opportunity for careful logging because frozen ground is less susceptible to damage.  And Spring begins a new cycle for forest stewardship planning– a process that ensures availability of wood for future generations.  At Vermont Woods Studios that process is led by Lynn Levine (our professional forester) who helps manage the 100 acre woodland that Stonehurst sits upon.  A woodland we’re using to help people understand where their furniture comes from:  trees that are sustainably harvested.

What is Sustainable, Eco Friendly Furniture?

Polywood all weather Adirondack chairs | Recycled plastic milk jugs
These eco friendly POLYWOOD all weather Adirondack chairs are made of recycled plastic milk jugs.  Other marks of sustainability include green certifications, local responsibly harvested wood and use of non-toxic materials.

I just googled “sustainable eco friendly furniture” and came up with everything from IKEA (who was recently suspended from the Forest Stewardship Council FSC for illegally clear cutting 600 year old trees in Russia) to Pottery Barn (well known for  greenwashing campaigns like their eco chic collection). At Vermont Woods Studios  we’ve written a lot about sustainable furniture and how it’s defined.   Because we sell mainly wooden furniture we focus on responsible sourcing, green certification of wood, advantages of local and American made furniture, and the importance of recycled  and handmade furniture.  For examples of a wider variety of eco friendly furniture, check out the latest green furniture articles on Inhabitat.

Why Buy Sustainable Furniture?

“Every dollar you spend or don’t spend is a vote you cast for the world you want.” – L.N. Smith

A couple other reasons that come to mind include:

  • better health for your family (no exposure to the flammables, lead and toxic coatings that are often present in furniture)
  • less investment in furniture over the long run (sustainable furniture is built to last a lifetime so no replacements are necessary) and
  • support for local communities that produce sustainable furniture

Have some reasons of your own?  Let us know on Facebook or in the comments section below.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Pay attention to the men behind the curtain.

Vermont Forest
Photo via Huff Post

 

Sustainability is more than just a green product– to be truly sustainable, a company must ensure that their workers receive fair compensation for their considerable talent and are paid a living wage, in a safe and healthy work environment. This is something we’re passionate about at Vermont Woods Studios

Scattered across rural Vermont are workshops large and small where the tradition of crafting fine, solid wood furniture continues to be handed down from one generation to the next. These craftsmen are passionate about what they do, and continue to create heirloom quality designs knowing that they will be lasting treasures in someones home. They are passionate for creating a safe and healthy product for both the customer and the environment.

Many furniture companies have grown exponentially over the years, but we continue to strive to provide only the best hardwood furniture these gifted independent furniture makers from across Vermont have to offer. We want to continue to share their craft with the world, and bring our customers the best sustainable furniture options possible. Without solid relationships with our Vermont furniture makers, our mission wouldn’t be possible.

Our furniture makers workshops range in size from a single artisan to a couple dozen craftsmen to the larger companies (Copeland Furniture and Lyndon Furniture) that employ about 75-100 craftspeople each. Some sustainable furniture makers craft ultra luxury artisan custom furniture and each of their pieces is unique, made in a small studio, usually by a single artisan, with the occasional help of an apprentice or a family member. Other craftspeople produce more classic handcrafted wood furniture designs which they make routinely at affordable prices.

We are proud, and very fortunate to be able to work with such a talented and passionate group of people.

| This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios.  Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains. |

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Hardwood Furniture | Saving Our Maple Trees | Sustainable Forestry in Vermont
The little red dot in the middle of these hardwood trees, is Ken–  pruning the maples today.  Our mission at Stonehurst Fine Wood Furniture is founded on forest conservation.  We need your help in saving hardwood trees from an epidemic of infestations.

Hard wood furniture lovers, beware!  At this very moment, armies of invasive bugs and diseases are on the prowl, hunting down your favorite maple, oak, cherry, walnut and other backyard trees to turn them into food and bedding for their young.  Check out this article by Faith Campbell in the Nature Conservancy blog, “How to Save Countless Trees in 10 Minutes or Less“.

Asian Longhorn Beetle

Asian Longhorn Beetle | How to Identify it on Your Hardwood TreesFaith talks about the dreaded Asian Longhorn Beetle ALB, one of many non-native insects and diseases that have been brought to America accidentally by way of imported plants or in crates and pallets.  Vermont’s iconic maples, along with elms, ash, and oaks are a favorite home to these large, shiny, black and white beetles from Asia.

The entire Northern hardwood forest is at risk and if we can’t get people like you to help fight back,  48 million acres in the United States plus the majority of Canada’s hardwood forests could be destroyed.  Also at risk are shade trees along city streets and in backyards all across the country. The ALB could kill up to two thirds of urban trees if it becomes established!

 

 

3 Things You Can Do to Save Our Hardwoods

There are many ways you can help keep invasive killer bugs and diseases from destroying our hardwoods.  Here are some suggestions from VermontInvasives.org

  • Buy Local Firewood– Tree killing insects and diseases can lurk in firewood. Don’t move invasives to new areas on firewood
  • Educate yourself, your friends, your coworkers, and your family about how to look for invasive pests.  Here’s a look at the top invasives in Vermont and in other locales
  • Take photos and report anything you find to your state agricultural, natural resources, or forestry agency

By working together can we fight the killer bugs that threaten our forests, our food supplies, our waters and the thousands of jobs dependent on them.  You can help stop the spread and protect the natural resources you love.

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Global Tiger Day | Sustainable Forest Products Help Save Tigers
Tigers are running out of space and time with only 7% of their habitat remaining.  Your decisions about buying furniture flooring and even paper, coffee and other forest products can help save them.

July 29th is Global Tiger Day. Did you know there is a direct connection between tiger conservation and the furniture and flooring you buy for your home?  Companies like IKEA, Home Depot and WalMart sell wooden furniture and flooring that are often obtained through illegal logging in protected tiger habitats.  Much of the global timber trade is now managed by organized crime.  Sources, including George Mason University and The Washington Post are reporting that the global timber trade is the new heroin industry for organized crime.  Tiger habitats are being rapidly and systematically destroyed in Russia, China, Malaysia and elsewhere to provide the cheap, imported wooden furniture and flooring that’s sold in America’s big box stores.

As a result, some scientists predict that the last remaining 3200 wild tigers (down from 100,000 just a century ago) will be entirely extinct in 5 years.

Is There Any Way to Save the Tiger?

As an apex predator, the tiger is one of the most important animals in all of human history.  If you love tigers, have a look at the World Wildlife Fund’s initiative to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.  You can support the effort by purchasing sustainable products.  At Vermont Woods Studios, we promote American made furniture as it is almost always made with North American wood, harvested from well managed forests.  We’re using our new Stonehurst fine furniture and art gallery to raise awareness about where your furniture comes from and persuade people to purchase furniture and flooring made from sustainably harvested wood.

For more information on tiger conservation, check out this preview of Siberian Tiger Quest, currently airing on PBS Nature and hop over to Facebook to like WWF’s Tiger page.

Tigers are running out of space and time with only 7% of their habitat remaining but your decisions about buying furniture flooring and even paper, coffee and other forest products can help save them.  It’s not too late!  Please like our Tiger conservation initiative on Facebook and share this post with your friends.  Thanks!

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Saving the Rainforest | Sustainable Wooden Furniture and Flooring | What's the Connection?
Global rainforest destruction continues to proceed at a rate of > 1 acre per second.  60 seconds every minute.  60 minutes every hour, 24/7/365.  It’s the greatest extinction in the history of the earth.  Once the rainforest is gone, it’s gone forever.  It doesn’t regenerate like our northern temperate forests.  Interested in conserving the rainforest and preserving the iconic species who’ve lived there for millions of years?  Learn how your choices for furniture, flooring and other forest products can help.

Where Does Your Wooden Furniture Come From?

Ever wonder where your wooden furniture comes from?  Seven years ago I founded Vermont Woods Studios because I didn’t like the answer to that question.  And the answer is:  if you didn’t  purchase American made furniture, yours may well have originated in a beautiful tropical rainforest that was being plundered by illegal logging activities.

One Acre of Rainforest Disappears Every Second

I spent the first few years at Vermont Woods Studios trying to raise awareness about rainforest devastation and how it’s driven by the wood furniture and flooring industries.  Did you know that the rainforest is disappearing at the rate of >1 acre per second?  It sounds unbelievable and sensationalist, doesn’t it?  I mean that’s over 4000 football fields every hour of every 24 hour day, 365 days/year.  But it’s true and that fact is why we continue to work so hard to offer sustainable, locally made furniture at this Vermont furniture store.

You and I Have the Power to Save the Rainforest

Consumers of wood furniture, flooring and other forest products are the key to saving the rainforest.  If you’re taking the trouble to learn about sustainable wooden furniture and how you as a consumer can be part of the global solution, we want to help.  I’ll be writing a series of blogs over the next few months to provide some background information regarding the past, present and future of the rainforest and how we consumers can do our part to save it.  Have any rainforest references or stories you’d like to share?  Use the comment section below or join the conversation on our Facebook.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.