Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

sustainable

Sustainable Furniture

October 1st, 2010 by Peggy Farabaugh

Sustainable-furniture
At Vermont Woods Studios we're privileged to work with some of the world's finest craftsmen.  Some of these furniture makers have had a tradition of fine craftsmanship handed down to them through many generations of Vermonters while others have emigrated to our state, attracted by the natural beauty and the close community of artisans living here.

 

   

Sustainable-furniture-vt
One of the passions we all share is a love of the outdoors and a connection to the forest:  the source of our wood.  Vermont furniture makers care immensely about where their wood comes from as this affects not only the look and quality of a piece but also the sense of "karma" that every handmade piece has.  The sustainability of our forests is an important issue to us.

I read this note about forest conservation from friend and sustainable furniture maker Dave Allard recently and wanted to share it:

Solid-wood-furniture

In 2008, the US Forest Service reported that the volume of American
hardwoods is 90 percent larger than it was just 50 years ago and nearly
twice as much hardwood grows as is harvested every year. When managed
responsibly hardwood forests are at the least carbon neutral.

American hardwoods are abundant and self-regenerating. For centuries
they have been providing beauty, warmth and functional value for floors,
furniture, moldings, millwork and cabinetry.

Conservation weighs heavily on our minds.  We
have always purchased the finest hardwoods from local, and reputable
sustainable resources. This allows us to virtually hand pick our lumber,
save on the use of large trucks that emit pollutants, thus limiting our
carbon footprint and waste factor overall. We were ‘Green’ before it
was cool.

I agree.  Vermont is not only the fine furniture capitol of America it is also the sustainable furniture capitol of our country.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Mother Nature and the Importance of American Hardwoods

May 20th, 2010 by Peggy Farabaugh

Sustainable-wood

Mike Rainville, president of the Vermont Wood Manufacturer's Association (VWMA) and owner of Maple Landmark Woodcraft shared this website and I thought you might be interested in it.  ObeyMotherNature.com was created to help educate and serve as a resource to consumers interested in using environmentally friendly products.

 

  

Forests
Did you know that North American hardwoods are one of the most environmentally sound
materials available today?  The site explains how American hardwoods like cherry, maple, oak and walnut are harvested sustainably, usually by selecting each tree individually such that the character of the forest is preserved.  I was surprised to learn that over the past 50 years the volume of hardwood in American forests has
nearly doubled.  Wow, how's that for sustainable forestry?  It's just the opposite of what's happening in the rainforests of South America and Southeast Asia which are being clearcut at a rate of one football field per second, with no reforestation occurring.

Another cool fact is that wood products have a low carbon impact and what is called a low level of
embodied energy compared to other building materials.  The
amount of energy necessary for producing wood products is low compared
to other building products made from other materials like steel,
aluminum, glass and brick.

 

All interesting stuff to know but at Vermont Woods Studios we realize our furniture has to be more than just a sustainable or intellectual or emotional choice.  We're obsessed with making it the most beautiful and affordable choice as well.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Sustainable Furniture Helps Sustain Frog Populations

April 8th, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh

 

Cherry-Moon-Bed Did you know that we are now in the midst of the greatest mass extinction of amphibians since the dinosaurs?  Watch PBS’s Nature Series Frogs:  The Thin Green Line.  You won’t believe how frogs– after being on this planet for more than 250 million years — are now struggling for survival in nearly every one of their habitats around the world.  

As we saw in Jim Andrews’ show on Rattlers, Peepers and Snappers, there is an environmental crisis unfolding in Vermont, but also around the globe.  Where there used to be the calls of frogs, scientists now hear only silence, and this silence is spreading throughout North, South and Central America, Australia and beyone.

What can we do to help one of the most wonderous, diverse and beloved, animals on Earth stop slipping away at such a frightful speed?  Live green, support amphibian conservation projects and visit the Nature website to learn about citizen science monitoring programs like Frog Watch.

We’re working hard to do our part at Vermont Woods Studios too.  Purchase sustainable furniture from our online store and we’ll donate 5% of your purchase to your favorite environmental non-profit.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Green Furniture, Candlelight Dinners and Earth Hour

March 30th, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh

Candle
Congratulations to our Vermont Woods Studios customers and readers who celebrated Earth hour with a candlelight dinner, a cribbage game or a relaxing chat by the fireside.  You joined hundreds of millions of environmental activists around the globe who made this annual climate change awareness event a phenomenal success.  

Here are some cool pictures on the Earth Hour sponsor’s (World Wildlife Fund) website that show lights out from Sydney to Bejing to New York City.   You can upload and share your own photos, films, blog entries and more.  


We’d love to see your photos too.  Send us pictures of you enjoying a candlelight dinner seated at your  Vermont Woods Studios eco-friendly table and chairs and we’ll send you a $25 gift certificate!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Green Furniture, Climate Change and Earth Hour

March 23rd, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh

We’re asking all of our Vermont Woods Studios customers, vendors and friends to join us this Saturday, March 28 at 8:30pm in turning out the lights for the Third Annual International Earth Hour.


Earth Hour is World Wildlife Fund‘s global initiative where individuals, businesses and governments turn off their lights for one hour to show their support for action on climate change.  Major cities across the US and around the world have committed to participate in Earth Hour 2009.  



Last year,  all seven continents turned out their lights in the largest climate event of all time.  The movement captured the public’s imagination with lights going out at some of the world’s most iconic landmarks including:

  • The Sydney Opera House
  • Bangkok’s Wat Arun Buddhist temple
  • The Coliseum in Rome
  • Stockholm’s Royal Castle
  • New York’s Empire State Building
  • Sears Tower in Chicago and the
  • Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Even Google’s homepage went dark.

 What does Climate Change have to do with Green Furniture and why are we so fired up about this initiative?  


Believe it or not, 20% of global climate change is caused by deforestation.  As woodworkers, we’ve been reaching out to educate others about the need to preserve the forests.  Not just the temperate forests in which we live and work, but particularly, the world’s rapidly disappearing tropical rainforests.  


We all depend on the forests for our survival.  They are the lungs of our planet and house many of our most precious natural resources and endangered species.  Forest preservation is our passion and Earth Hour is a way to symbolize that passion.  We hope you’ll join us!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Forest Conservation and Junk Mail

March 23rd, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh

 

Forest conservation is a big part of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios.  All of our furniture is made from sustainably harvested wood and we donate a portion of the proceeds of each sale to non-profit groups working to preserve the forest.  

So when I read a recent article in Audubon Magazine (by T. Edward nickens) about the damage that’s happening to our forests as a result of junk mail production, I felt we should get on board and do something to help.  Would you believe that:

  • Over 100 Billion pieces of junk mail are delivered to Americans each year (>800 pieces per household, almost half of which goes directly to the landfill without even being opened)

  • It takes over 100 million trees to produce this junk mail (that’s equivalent to clear-cutting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park every 4 months)

  • The manufacture of this junk mail releases more greenhouse gas emissions per year than the emissions released by 9.4 million average passenger cars

 The Canadian Boreal forest (home to caribou, grizzly bears, wolves and 40% of North America’s waterfowl) and Indonesia’s tropical rainforests (home to numerous critically endangered species including orangutans and tigers) are particularly at risk from junk mail producers, harvesting wood in these areas.

Want to help solve the junk mail problem?  The non-profit group, Forest Ethics has an online petition you can sign, asking Congress for a Do Not Mail registry, similar to the Do Not Call registry.  That would be great, wouldn’t it?

In the meantime, here is a fantastic website where you can quickly and easily eliminate most of your junk mail, right now…it’s Catalog Choice. 

Just sign up and select the catalogs you don’t want to receive.  Voila!  Your name is off their lists.  Take action right NOW and help save the earth’s forests.  You’ll be protecting endangered species and indigenous peoples AND helping to stem global climate change.  You’re going to feel really good about yourself today!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Planning for a GREEN Luxury Valentine’s Day

January 23rd, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh

Luxury-Valentines-Gift-Chairs
What are you planning for Valentine's Day?   No–you can't count on the recession for an excuse to lapse or forget.  Here's a link to World Wildlife Fund's FREE Valentine's email cards to help you out in recognizing all the special green people in your life.

And for those on a more generous budget,you can still surprise the love of your
life with the gift of our ultra luxury Heart-Shaped Valentines Chairs  handcrafted by Steve Holman.
This figured maple chair with velvety red upholstery can be
customized to include your names, date or other creative personal touches. Like
your enduring devotion, these heirloom chairs will be around forever – or at
least for generations!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

What We’re Doing…The Best Furniture, Service, Price, and Overall Experience

February 15th, 2008 by Peggy Farabaugh

Hurwitz_dining_table Of course these have to be the foundation of our efforts for without these basics our time and yours would be wasted. We’re not aiming for “superior”, at Vermont Woods Studios we’ll settle for nothing less than the best. We don’t want you to just be happy with your purchase, we want you to become raving fans! We need you to refer your friends and family to us and come back to us the next time you need furniture, so you will see that we are obsessed with making sure everything is just right. Check out our Testimonials page and see what I mean.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

What We’re Doing… Founding Members of the Sustainable Furniture Council, SFC

February 14th, 2008 by Peggy Farabaugh

In September, 2006, I was very fortunate to be able to join with Gerry Cooklin , Susan Inglis and a small group of visionary leaders in the furniture industry to talk about the unique status the furniture industry has as the main consumer of the forest’s most precious species. That was the birth of a non-profit now called the Sustainable Furniture Council, FSC. We are now over 100 members strong, all working to educate consumers and promote sustainable practices in our industry.  Vermont Woods Studios is proud to be a founding member of this world-changing group.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Whereas: The Furniture Industry is a BIG Part of the Problem

February 7th, 2008 by Peggy Farabaugh

Well, there’s plenty of blame to go around for industries like timber, soy, beef, fertilizer, pesticide and so on.  Those industries need to get going and get on The Green Train too!  And as the highest value-added industry, The Furniture Industry Needs to Step up and Change the Way it Sources Product.  Here’s why:


  1. Much of the clear-cutting of the rainforest is done to produce timber for furniture and flooring. Incredibly, up to 90% of today’s imported furniture-grade wood is illegally harvested, from the rainforest. Look around your house. If you have mahogany or teak furniture that is not certified as sustainably harvested by a third party non-profit such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) it’s a good bet that furniture came from clear-cutting the rainforest.
  2. China has taken over about a third of the world trade in furniture over just the last 8 years, making it the leading importer of timber from tropical rainforests. Logging practices that supply the timber are typically illegal and labor conditions are deplorable. Again, chances are if you’ve purchased furniture in the last 10 years, it was made in China of illegal wood that may have come from as far away as the Amazon in South America. Peter Goodman and Peter Finn of the Washington Post did an informative article on the shocking state of corruption and illegal logging in China and elsewhere.  Read it, then get on board The Green Train!

Vermont Woods Studios Sustainable Furniture

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
css.php