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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.