October 1st, 2010 by Peggy Farabaugh
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.
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:
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
I agree. Vermont is not only the fine furniture capitol of America it is also the sustainable furniture capitol of our country.
May 20th, 2010 by Peggy Farabaugh
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.
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.
April 8th, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh
March 30th, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh
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!
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:
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!
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!
January 23rd, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh
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!
February 15th, 2008 by Peggy Farabaugh
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.
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.
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: