Lyndon-furniture-vt-usaYesterday I wrote about Vermont's Lyndon Furniture, one of America's most admired green furniture companies– and one that has remained in America throughout the offshoring exodus of the last 40 years.

Lyndon's owner and founder, Dave Allard is shown here in Vermont's Green Mountain Forest with some of his hardwood creations.

We interviewed Dave yesterday to learn more about why Lyndon Furniture is considered one of America's greenest furniture companies and here's the second half of Dave's response:

Sustainably Harvested Hardwoods – Lyndon furniture is made with choice hardwoods such as natural Cherry, Maple, Oak, or Walnut which are harvested through sustainable forestry practices. The predominant method is Single Tree Selection where trained foresters select individual trees for harvesting. The cut logs are then removed with the least disruption to the surrounding environment. This method creates openings in the forest canopy allowing more precipitation, sunlight, and nutrients to reach the forest floor ensuring the health of other trees. Responsible forest management takes into consideration long term timber production, while addressing water quality, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, forest aesthetics and recreational opportunities. The same can’t always be said for Asian or Rainforest woods where responsible forest management practices often take a back seat to maximizing profits.

Green Furniture Finishes – Lyndon's furniture finishes and stains are all made in Vermont. Vermont has some of the strictest environmental laws in the country which coincide with our views and respect of nature. Consequently our finishes have far lower VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and HAPs (Hazardous Air Pollutants) than current American industry standards, and far exceed the standards of imported products.

Sustainable Manufacturing – Lyndon Furniture has an extensive recycling program. We recycle paper, cardboard, metal and wood waste. Most materials (with the exception of the wood waste) are picked up by our local recycling center for proper material reintegration. Wood scrap is utilized as a biomass heating source (which has allowed Lyndon to drastically reduce oil usage) while sawdust is used by local farms for animal bedding. We have also made significant investments in energy efficiency to reduce our costs, and more importantly our carbon footprint. 

At a time when it seems every furniture company is "going green" it's nice to know that Lyndon Furniture and their fellow Vermont furniture makers actually have a history of using green practices from the start.

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.


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Lyndon Furniture's green practices start with using sustainably harvested North American lumber sourced locally and regionally.

Vermont's Lyndon Furniture is one of America's most admired eco-friendly furniture companies.  We've been partnering with Lyndon for many years and often customers ask "just what is it that makes Lyndon Furniture so green?"

 

 

We put the question to our friend Dave Allard, Lyndon's owner and founder and below are a few of his comments.  We'll follow up with more tomorrow.

 

Use of Local Woods – At Lyndon Furniture "green" practices start with our Purchasing Policy.  We purchase wood through responsible local partners, thus minimizing transport distances and helping our regional economy. This policy greatly reduces fuel usage and carbon emissions.

Sustainably Harvested Woods – The hardwoods we utilize at Lyndon are grown and harvested within a 500 mile radius of our shop. Some are even harvested less than two miles away, from my own property. This is unlike furniture imported from China or other places where the lumber might be sourced from thousands of miles away in Africa or South America, thus consuming great amounts of energy in transit before timber is even received for furniture production.

 Green Technology – At Lyndon Furniture we utilize advanced technology and responsible manufacturing to maximize yield and reduce the amount of wood waste, making certain that all wood processing by-products are put to some use. For example, our sawdust is used by local farmers for animal bedding.

Pretty cool, right?  In Vermont nothing goes to waste.  It's part of our Yankee culture of ingenuity, innovation and oh yeah…thrift.  In Vermont "green furniture" is not a new promotional slogan.  Furniture making has always been this way up here and I'd guess it always will be.  Vermonters just aren't very responsive to passing trends.  It's more about quality, integrity and sustainability in VT.

We'll post a few other green characteristics of Lyndon's eco friendly furniture tomorrow.

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.

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A customer who purchased this Copeland Astrid bed last week told me she found Vermont Woods Studios Furniture after searching online for "Zen furniture". 

 

Well, I'm no expert on Zen but I can see where the simple, organic forms of Copeland's Astrid Furniture Collection would appeal to someone looking to introduce an element of serenity into their home.

 

 

Astrid features pure, simple, minimalist style.  It's designed to "create an oasis of quiet harmony for the modern urban bedroom".   I guess that is rather zen-like.  The fact that Astrid furniture is handmade right here in Vermont from local, sustainably harvested wood was an important part of Corey's decision too.

 

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Copeland's minimalist mid-century modern Astrid furniture has a certain "Zen" quality to it.

 

And speaking of Zen, I love Copeland's new dining room furniture too.  These minimalist, mid century walnut seats are Copeland's Catalina Estelle chairs.   I think they might have some Zen qualities.

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.

 

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Speaking of organic, did you know that Vermont is also famous for it's organic furniture?  Last count there were some 2000 small wood furniture makers scattered across Vermont.  Although the styles and methods of craftsmanship are quite varied, these furniture makers have in common a deep respect for the forest where their wood furniture originates.

 

I haven't been able to find a definition for organic furniture yet but I do think Vermont would logically be the place to start.  Vermont woodworkers have a long history of sustainable woodworking, sourcing their wood from our local forests abundant in native hardwoods like maple, oak, ash, cherry and birch.  And we avoid the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in Vermont's sustainable forests, relying instead on Mother Nature to regenerate after careful selective harvesting.

When it comes to applying a finish to Vermont's furniture, you'll be hard-pressed to find harsh chemicals with high levels of VOCs or formaldehyde.  Instead furniture makers use natural linseed oil finishes, clear non-toxic lacquers and even a natural coating made from whey (a recycled byproduct of our dairy industry).

Yesterday I wrote about organic food in terms of where it comes from and how it's grown.  The organic food movement has been around for over a century but has picked up more steam in the last 20 years as people become more aware of where their food comes from.  I think the next step for the organic movement is into the world of organic furniture.  And Vermont will lead the way.

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.

 

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Naturally, as wood furniture makers, we at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture have to be concerned about forest conservation.  It's the foundation of our company's viability.

Although our Green Mountain Forests in Vermont are healthy and sustainable we know that, from a global perspective deforestation is the Number 1 environmental problem on our planet today.  Deforestation is a huge contributor to global warming, climate change, air pollution (carbon and other emissions from slash and burn practices), habitat loss, biodiversity loss, pollution of marine habitats (due to run-off from pesticides and fertilizers used to transform diverse forests into mono-cultured plantations) and more.

So at Vermont Woods Studios, we are working with The Nature Conservancy in support of their Plant A Billion Trees project.  We plant one tree for every order we fulfill and we support many non-profits dedicated to forest conservation.

We appreciate your concern for the environment.  When you buy wood furniture from us, you can rest assured that the forest where your furniture began it's life, will still be around for generations to come.  As will your furniture!

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.