Since Earth Day is on Sunday this year, we decided to have our Vermont Woods Studios Earth Day party today. Here are a few photos of the crew indulging in local, organic food from The Works, a cafe, bakery and deli in Brattleboro.
We love the food and the people at the Works but we also like their green brand.
This sign on the wall at the back of the deli tells where all the recycled materials that make up the store came from. Furniture and cabinetry were made by our friend Chad Woodruff of Woodruff Custom Furniture here in Vernon, VT. Chad used old tractor seats and scythe handles for chairs.
The vintage steel lighting at the Works was salvaged from from an old amusement park in Rye, New York.
The menu is written on an old slate chalkboard reclaimed from Northfield Mount Hermon School, in Northfield MA.
They just used a lot of imagination in designing and building the Works and everyone in Brattleboro loves going there for the good green vibe.
So here's another idea for our "Greening Up Your Workplace" Challenge on Facebook– have an Earth Day lunch with natural food from a local restaurant or deli.
Guest Blogger: Shannon Albritton
WARNING: No hazmat suits, protective eyewear or gloves required to read this message
My very first thought when we launched our Green-Up Your Workplace Challenge here at Vermont Woods Studios was “I can’t wait to get those toxic cleaning products out of our bathroom!” There’s nothing worse than walking into a ‘freshly cleaned bathroom’ and needing to open the window to dissipate the smell of bleach and chemicals. I was quick to volunteer for the task of purchasing a new assortment of green cleaning products. Permission granted!
My personal aversion to the odor of chemical-based products aside, there are a variety of factors to consider when selecting cleaning products:
Important reasons to consider when going green with your clean:
- When toxic chemicals are sprayed, dumped, rinsed or washed the hazardous environmental effects are outstanding
- 6 billion pounds of chemicals are dumed into the environment each year
- Cancer, autism, birth defects, skin & respiratory sensitivies and asthma are on the rise without adequate explanation why
Possible environmental consequences of using chemical cleaning products:
- Air pollution
- Bioaccumulation of toxic substances in plants and animals
- Endocrine disruption in wildlife, which affects reproductive ability
- Ozone depletion
- Water pollution
And, if the above isn’t enough to convince you, consider the following warning label comparison:
Warning Label Clorox Clean-Up reads: Eye & Skin Irritant: Causes substantial but temporary eye injury. Do not get in eyes or on clothing. Wear protect eyewear (really?) Harmful if swallowed. For sensitive skin or prolonged use wear gloves. Avoid prolonged breathing of vapors and use in well ventilated areas. (Yeesh! – did they forget the hazmat suit?)
Warning Label Biokleen Bac-Out Bathroom Cleaner: Caution: In case of eye contact, flush eyes with cool water for 15 minutes. In case of ingestion, do not induce vomitting; drink plenty of water to dilute. (That was easy)
Have I convinced you yet? Here comes the reinforcement…
- Animal Testing – I’ll leave the gory details to your imagination but let’s face it, choosing products which use No Animal Testing and No Animal Ingredients should be a no-brainer in 2012. Store shelves provide a variety options and alternatives for friendlier choices that don’t include a science lab full of beagles testing your bathroom cleaner for skin allergies…
Products from earth-friendly companies like Biokleen (my personal favorite), Ecover, Seventh Generation offer a safe and comprehensive product line for cleaning your office and home. Many products are available in concentrated form which also helps keep our planet green. Less waste in plastic bottles and containers has a direct impact on our energy consumption and pollution from manufacturing. In many cases these concentrated products are very cost effective because you’re not paying for the bottle over and over again. I’ve been using Biokleen for years and strongly recommend them. Not only are their products safe and green they actually work and smell wonderful!
So, let’s recap: Choosing to green-up your workplace by replacing toxic cleaning products laden with harsh chemicals with green cleaning alternatives is my # 1 choice because it:
- Removes harsh chemicals from the air
- Keeps chemicals from leeching into our water systems and plants
- Prevents negative effects on the reproduction of our wildlife
- Keeps the air quality safe for myself, my coworkers & our customers
- No hazmat suit, protective eyewear or gloves required
- No Animal Testing or Animal Products
- Concentrated formulas save on waste and pollution
- Smells great – no artificial fragrances, colors or preservatives
Now head on over to the Vermont Woods Studios Virtual Green-Up Your Workplace Challenge and show your love for my #1 green-up tip. Be sure to share your green cleaning tips with the rest of us and tell us how you’re greening up your workplace too!
Warning: No animals, vegetables or minerals have been harmed in the making of this message
As part of our Green Up Your Workplace Challenge, we're scouting around for fun things you can do at work to get your co-workers involved with Earth Day.
How about setting up an Earth Day vegetarian party like this one by Kristine Shin Designs?
OK, I'll admit we're probably not going to make anything that extravagant happen in our small office at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture but maybe if you work with a large group, you could do it? Then you could post pictures of your veggie feast on our Green Up Your Workplace Facebook event )
If you had to give your workplace a grade for "greenliness" what would it be? Most people I've talked to say they at least have recycling containers at work. For paper that is. Not many have recycling for cans or plastic though. Not many have consistently emphasized programs for energy efficiency either (with a focus on turning computers and equipment off at night, turning lights out when not in use, replacing old incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency ones, etc.)
Come on now. It's 2012. We've had 42 Earth Days come and go since the first one in 1970. What seems to be the problem? Don't settle for a "D" on your report card.
At Vermont Woods Studios we're trying to help make this year's Earth Day (April 22, 2012) a little more successful in the workplace. Manjula and Dennis cooked up a "Green Up Your Workplace Challenge". It's a virtual Facebook event and we're asking you to attend. You can do so by liking us on our Facebook and then attending the "Green Up Your Workplace" event (a Facebook page where we'll post photos, links, stories, tips and advice for how to get an A in 'greenliness" for your workplace).
Give it a try! Our goal is to get 400 people to attend the "Green Up Your Workplace Challenge" between now and Earth Day and we're going to plant a tree for each person who attends. How about giving us a hand?