Earth Day 2016 is just a week away on Friday, April 22.
As perhaps the world’s largest community of environmental supporters, Earth Day Network started Earth Day in 1970 and has made great progress in addressing sustainability & climate change. But there is much left to do in protecting our planet for future generations (of people, flora and fauna) and you can help. What can you do?
Trees. Who knew? We founded Vermont Woods Studios 10 years ago on a mission of forest conservation. Now we’re learning even more about the magic of trees: they’re the key to improved memory, health, wealth & happiness! Take a leaf out of these new scientific studies that make it official:
Trees improve memory: A research team at the University of Michigan gave people a memory test, then assigned some of them to walk through downtown and others to walk through the woods. The participants were tested again upon their return, and the group that took the nature walk scored significantly better!
Trees treat depression & improve happiness: The same researchers at UM assessed the moods of people with major depression, then assigned some of them to walk through downtown and others to walk through the woods. After the strolls, the people who’d been through the woods showed greater improvement in “positive affect” — an emotional state typically low in depressed patients.
Trees improve mental health: Researchers gathered data on antidepressant prescriptions across London and paired that with data on the number of trees in the same area. The places with higher tree densities had significantly lower prescription rates.
Trees save your money AND your life: according to Treehugger, about 850 lives are saved each year, the number of acute respiratory symptoms is lower by about 670,000 incidents each year, and the total health care savings attributed to pollution removal by trees is around $7 billion a year.
We’ve been talking forever about how trees provide food, shelter & housing. And how they combat pollution & global warming. And how they provide some of the world’s most effective cancer medications. So today, I thought it might be fitting to bring a few newly discovered advantages of trees to light.
From all the tree huggers at Vermont Woods Studios– Here’s to your memory, health, wealth & happiness!
Each year during the 3rd week of March our friends at the National Wildlife Federation celebrate wildlife, nature and our need to protect them. This year’s National Wildlife Week, March 18-23, explores the roles of trees for wildlife, people and communities.
As woodworkers, we at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture have a thing about trees and forest conservation. NWF captures our sentiments: “from the canopy to the roots, trees are critical for thousands of wildlife species—from woodpeckers that drill on the trunks of mature trees, to beavers felling trees to build their homes, and huge moose eating tree leaves and sprouts in the forest. Not only do trees benefit wildlife at all stages of their lives—by providing shelter, nesting places, food, and hiding places for predators and prey—trees are also the lungs of the Earth, because they renew our air supply by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen for us to breathe.”
NWF is planting tens of thousands of trees this week, in over 200 communities across the country—bringing children and adults together to provide crucial habitat for wildlife. You can join their celebration by planting a tree, making a donation or sharing a photo of wildlife in trees (upload your photos to their Facebook timeline).
It’s a little early to be planting trees in Vermont this season, so at Vermont Woods Studios we’ll be participating by donating $1/sale to our Plant a Billion Trees initiative. Trees are the longest living organisms on our planet and one of the earth’s greatest natural resources. What are you doing to conserve them?
Who doesn’t love trees? As a purveyor of natural wood furniture, we are big tree lovers. Not surprisingly, forest conservation is a big part of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios. If we’re going to be providing solid wood furniture for generations into the future, we have to focus on forest conservation today.
This morning I was searching for a tree photo to help us show people how your furniture gets from the forest to your living room. I couldn’t believe how many spectacular tree photos are out there! It’s obvious we’re not the only tree fanatics on this planet.
Pinterest seems to be the keeper of some of the world’s favorite tree photos. The Pinterest “Trees” page contains boards on every tree topic you can think of, from “tree houses” to “roots”, “forests”, “tree life” and “tree tatoos”.
Since forest conservation is a big part of my mission at Vermont Woods Studios, it’s been a little heart-breaking for me to see some of the 100 year old trees at Stonehurst being taken down. There were a handful that were leaning over the house and garage and Ken insisted that they were a hazard and had to go.
But lucky for me, Vince Johnson of Johnson Custom Milling in Vernon, VT came to the rescue. Vince is milling the trees so we can use them for future phases of construction at Stonehurst, our fine furniture showroom. Here’s a video of his portable sawmill in operation.
And Dennis has plans to siphon off some of the wood to build bluebird houses, owl boxes and such. It’s turning out to be a fun project after all. Let us know on our Facebook if you have any thoughts or advice for us as we go down this road of renovation at Stonehurst, our future fine furniture showroom. We’ll be posting photos of the transformation and announcing details of our open house as we get closer to completion.