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?
Our friends at the World Wildlife Fund have just published their bi-annual Living Planet Report. It's a landmark study of our planet in terms of the health of our forests, rivers and oceans.
The results aren't pretty. Here are some of the facts they highlighted about our environment:
- We’ve lost 30 to 70 percent of our wildlife since 1970. That's an average. The tropics have lost 50 percent of their animals over the last 40 years, and tropical freshwater ecosystems have lost about 70 percent. The wild tiger population has suffered a 70 per cent decline in populations
- We are living as if we have the resources of an extra planet at our disposal. We’re using 50 percent more resources than the Earth can provide sustainably
- The U.S. has the fifth largest ecological footprint in terms of the amount of resources each person annually consumes. We rank only behind Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Denmark in the global rankings of the Ecological Footprint
These are just a few of the statistics noted in the 80 page report. But the good news is that it's not too late to save wildlife species and reverse unsustainable trends.
Green commerce plays a fundamental role in this as do you and I. The choices we make about our purchases will determine our planet's future.
Learn more about what Vermont Woods Studios is doing to promote forest conservation and preservation of endangered species like the Sumatran tiger. Join us in our green mission!
We posted a few suggestions for Valentine's gifts last week, but here it is Valentine's Day already and you may be caught unprepared. What are you going to do now?
But if you're looking for something faster and less expensive, how about sending a free Valentine's Day Ecard courtesy of The World Wildlife Fund? There are many cards to choose from– one is sure to catch your sweetheart's fancy.
Tigers are my favorite animals. We've done a few promotions trying to raise awareness about the fact that they are critically endangered due to habitat loss. Tiger conservation is linked to the wood furniture industry: much of the wood that is being used in imported furniture is clear cut from the rapidly disappearing habitats of Siberian, Bengal and other species of tiger.
Anyway I was really upset to see the massacre of tigers, lions, bears, monkeys and other exotic animals in Zanesville OH yesterday. ABC News featured a story about the importance of states passing laws prohibiting the purchase and sale of exotic animals, citing Born Free USA as a good place to learn more about the issue and take action.
Here's another way you can help protect exotic wildlife, right now and it only takes one minute and doesn't cost a penny. Go to Big Cat Rescue and click over to the US Government comment form regarding pending legislation from the US Fish and Wildlife Service about illegal trade in tiger parts. Enter your contact information on the form, then copy this phrase into the comment form: End the Trade in Generic Tigers! Please Rescind the Generic Tiger Exemption. So often we see these tragic stories in the news but we feel helpless to do anything about it. Here's a way you can make a difference.
At Vermont Woods Studios, we're thankful for our community of customers and supporters who have made this year our best one yet. With each purchase of high quality, handcrafted natural wood furniture you are supporting several different sustainable forestry and wildlife preservation efforts led by the World Wildlife Fund, Heifer International and many more.
Here's a free online Thanksgiving card I thought might be useful… perhaps for those very few of us who can't believe it's Thanksgiving already and haven't sent a card to our mothers yet. This card is provided by one of my favorite charities, the World Wildlife Fund. Check it out!