Furniture-vt-charity Last Saturday we ran a promotion at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture to raise money for local Vermonters who lost their homes and businesses in the floods that resulted from Hurricane Irene.  We promised to donate 100% of our profits to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund that the United Way set up for our area. 

Happily we had a couple nice sales Saturday and I can report that we raised $306 for the Fund.  That amount was matched 50% by local employer Entergy.  I guess it's a small amount when you're looking at a disaster of such enormous proportions but the truth is most businesses in Vermont are small, just like us.  But we're banding together and it's amazing to see the recovery take shape as a result. 

Manjula and Dennis are cooking up additional fundraisers and planning to run them about once per month throughout the next year.  Stay tuned for updates.  That's Manjula delivering our donation to Carmen Darby, the Windham County United Way Director.  Thanks to both of you for all the good work you do for our community.

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 By Guest Blogger:  Erik Braunitzer
 
Furniture makers like Vermont Woods Studios Furniture are doing their part to improve their carbon footprint. Extensive documentation on their website or even a quick phone conversation with Rebecca or Shannon puts families at ease knowing the company is serious about their environmental, health and safety mission

But simply seeing furniture in a store with a green stamp of certification label isn't always helpful when you're not familiar with the background of the stamp. So it’s important that we realize just how green furniture is made, along with the environmentally friendly materials that are used.
 
Furniture companies using wood and recycled materials generally have the smallest carbon footprint.  Other materials would include concrete, plastic, aluminum, brick, glass, fiberglass and more. Now it’s been said that there isn’t one individual item or sustainable material, but a handful that share sustainable characteristics, including recyclables.
 
Furniture can also include the following:
 
·      Paint

·      Paint Strippers

·      Stain

·      Particle Board

 
Many of these substances are classified as volatile chemicals. Furniture made with these volatile chemicals can result in offgassing, which is evaporation at normal atmospheric pressure. Offgassing can be reduced or eliminated altogether by using stains, finishes or paints that are non toxic such as those made by Vermont Natural Coatings and AFM Safecoat.
 
Transportation is another part of the carbon footprint for furniture, as wood and other materials have to be extracted from the environment, shipped to distributors, transported to furniture makers, then sent off to the retail store and customers. The sustainability of a particular piece of furniture is dependent upon a couple of factors including:
 
·      Durability–   The longer the piece of furniture, the more sustainable it becomes.

·      How it’s useful–   Multifunctional furniture saves money and yields greater sustainability.

Learning where to buy this type of furniture can be quite a daunting task, as it’s not always portrayed clearly exactly what materials are used, and the percentage of each. In order to fully lead a responsible lifestyle, we should understand just how to look for green furniture. Here are a few tips:
 
Look for Sustainably Harvested Wood – Translates to the sustainability of ecosystems and natural forests.

Avoid Tropical Woods Like Mahogany and Teak -  these woods are often illegally clearcut from the world's rapidly disappearing rainforests.

Ensure FSC Certification – for tropical woods, if no substitution can be made

Reclaimed Wood Furniture (RWF) – More or less, RWF is a recycled piece of furniture.
 
Non-Toxic Finishes – Keep your air clean and help protect your children from health issues.
 
Buy locally – Locally purchased items are always more sustainable as transportation costs are cut.
 
Clearly, Furniture making using sustainable materials is very important to the health of the overall environment. Similarly, it reduces waste and influences the vintage market. By following a few simple rules and clearly understanding how green furniture is made, you can make a difference in improving your carbon footprint. Next time you’re in the market for a table or chair, be sure to inquire about sustainable practices before purchasing.
 
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, New York Luxury Rentals.

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.

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.

Peppers-vt-furniture Last week Kendall sent a very nice email out to all our Vermont Woods Studios Furniture office staff politely asking them for input to a STAFF BIO page he's putting together.  Everyone completely blew him off, including me, I'm sorry to say. 

Well everyone but Pepper.  As you can see, she is very serious about her job, especially when it involves working with a mouse.  Always on top of things (like our documents, keyboards and laps) Pepper is once again setting the standard for cooperative behavior in the Vermont Furniture World.

You can read her corporate profile as she enters her new supervisory assignment right here on our Vermont made furniture website

Now as for Rebecca, Manjula, Dennis, Douglas, Ken, Riley and Kendall– well I don't want to put any pressure on you but you should know that at this moment Pepper is setting up an account at her favorite store and lobbying hard for YOUR bonuses in order to fund her next binge.  I'd say you might want to get crackin on those bios! 

Just sayin…

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.

Dad-wood-shop

 

 

What are you getting Dad for Father's Day?  Kendall and Riley have been raking their brains trying to think of something other than the usual wallet or tie we get Ken every year. 

 

Used to be we could get him some fishing gear too, but that's out now– with the limited mobility issue.

 

I've been thinking about a gift certificate to the Vermont Woodworking School in Cambridge VT.   This is a very cool school and they offer all different types of courses and workshops– from beginner to advanced.

 

They even offer an immersion program where you can live at the Farm House or in a silo housing unit (see photo) while you learn the finer points of woodworking.  Students take field trips to meet some of the world's best artisan furniture makers and see their studios. 

 

 

 

 

Vt-woodworking-school What a gift for Dad, right?  Getting him out of the house to do guy things on his own?  And I think they may even take a field trip to near-by micro-breweries.  What could be more better than wood and hops?  And honestly, Dad's not likely to get into much trouble in rural Vermont. 

Convinced?

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.