June 8th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
I started Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture almost 7 years ago as part of a mission to help with rainforest conservation. We promote American made furniture that's built with local, sustainably harvested wood as an alternative to imported furniture made with illegal tropical timber, clear cut from the world's rapidly disappearing rainforests.
But a couple years ago when we were searching for an eco-friendly line of outdoor furniture, I began to learn that furniture is such a HUGE commodity it's manufacture affects ocean conservation as well as forest conservation. Often when rainforests are clear-cut for timber, they are converted into plantations that require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. The whole process results in soil erosion, run-off, ocean pollution and coral bleaching.
This knowledge is what led us to begin carrying our Polywood outdoor furniture collection which is made from recycled plastic beverage containers, rather than rainforest woods like teak or mahogany. I know this is a convoluted pathyway, but that's what reminded me of today's designation as World Oceans Day.
There's no denying it– we are destroying the oceans and we need to take action to restore them. 90% of the big fish are gone and many of the fish caught today never even have the chance to reproduce. The average size of the remaining big fish has been cut in half in the last 50 years (the average weight of a swordfish caught today is 90 lbs., down from 266 lbs. in 1960).
The Green Prophet has some great suggestions if you're wondering what you can do to help restore the oceans. In addition to avoiding the purchase of furniture made from tropical woods (like teak, mahogany, ipe and eucalyptus) you can also help by eating only sustainably harvested fish and learning more about ocean conservation.
OK, thanks for reading all this. Now time to head out to the beach for a swim!
April 5th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Many times customers who come to us looking for real wood (usually teak or mahogany) outdoor furniture opt instead for our "faux wood" Polywood all-weather furniture.
Why? Well although we love the warmth and integrity of real wood, it's is increasingly being seen as inappropriate for outdoor, all weather furniture. The main issue from an environmental standpoint is durability and longevity. Eco conscious customers are looking for furniture (both indoor and outdoor) that's built to last a lifetime… stuff that's not going to end up in a landfill. So for all you wood lovers (myself included), here are the:
Three Best Features Of Faux Wood All Weather Outdoor Furniture
Now I know how hard it can be for wood lovers to come to terms with buying "fake wood". I never would have considered it myself if I hadn't seen the statistics our environmental conservation partners are citing about the rate we're losing the world's precious rainforests. But as I started to look into Polywood and try out their "faux wood" furniture I became hooked. It looks fabulous, it's very comfortable and it's maintenance-free. It's the clear environmental and design/style choice for all weather outdoor furniture.
At Vermont Woods Studios, as wood furniture makers, our mission is built upon forest conservation. We're especially committed to preservation of the rainforests– the places where teak and mahogany outdoor furniture originate. In concert with rainforest protection groups worlwide, such as Rainforest Relief, we'll continue to work showcasing better alternatives to outdoor furniture made of tropical woods as part of our rainforest conservation efforts.
Still not convinced? Here's a few more reasons to buy polywood "faux wood furniture". Check them out and let us know what you think.