Vermont-working-landscape Vermont is struggling to maintain its rural character.  You probably see this if you live in Vermont or vacation here.  Fifty years ago, 50% our state's land was in farms.  Today that number is only 20%– our farmland has dropped by almost 60% since 1960!

While agricultural lands are disappearing we are also seeing a decline in our forest products business.  Conversly, the amount of developed land in our state is growing rapidly (it increased 42% between 1982 and 2003).

At Vermont Woods Studios Furniture we're committed to helping steward our state's rural, agricultural and forested character.  Like so many other sustainable Vermont businesses, our future depends on it.  We applaud the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) and their efforts to maintain Vermont's natural beauty and rural character. We've joined their Vermont Working Landscape Partnership and are asking you to sign up too.  It only takes a minute to sign on to the partnership and there's no obligation or fee.  Add your voice and help shape the campaign for Vermont's Working Landscape!

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.

VT-Style-Furniture I guess most people don't really think about where their furniture comes from. We do at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture, and we're pretty persnickety about it.

 

Sustainable forestry is a founding principle here and a major part of our mission.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deer-in-forestOur furniture is handcrafted of sustainably harvested solid wood, ie., the wood is harvested in America from local and regional forests that are professionally managed such that they will still be around for generations.

 

Why do we care? 

 

We actually got into this business as an offshoot of a non-profit I started 10 years ago, Kids Saving the Planet KSP.   It's a project designed to make environmental education fun and engaging.  I soon learned though, how difficult it is to secure funding for non-profits so I started to think about creating a business that would one day be able to significantly contribute to KSP.  Vermont Woods Studios is what evolved.  The common thread is sustainable forestry– what I feel is one of the top 3 most important environmental issues of our time.

 

 

 

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.

Our solid wood American Modern Furniture Collection is featured on the front page of Sustainable Woods. Thanks, Nora!

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-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.