Yesterday I received a gift from my old pal, Sally Blakely. It was a tiger that she had symbolically adopted in my name from the World Wildlife Fund WWF. Thanks Sally, you couldn't have picked a more appreciated gift!
If anyone else out there loves tigers, I'm here to tell you that they're not going to be around for long unless we join WWF and other Tiger Conservation projects. It's urgent.
Check out this 2 minute WWF video. You can help save the tiger just by knowing these facts:
- in 2009, people in North America consumed about 80 mllion tons of paper
- The fastest growing brands of toilet paper in the United States today, Paseo, APP and Livi have a direct link to rainforest destruction
- Over the past 25 years, Paseo, APP and Livi have clear-cut 5 million acres of Sumatran forest wood
- Much of that land was once tiger, orangutan and elephant habitat
- Since 1985 more than half of Sumatra’s natural forests—some 30 million acres (an area the size of Virginia!)—have been lost
- Sumatra is the only place on earth where elephants, tigers and orangutans coexist
- Indonesia (including Sumatra) is ranked 3rd in the world in terms of total carbon emission due to the slash and burn destruction of its rainforests
Do you see a world with wild tigers, orangutans and elephants in our future? Do you care? Here is your chance to change the world. It's not hard. Don't buy Paseo, APP or Livi products. Ask your grocer not to buy them. Ask your friends, schools and hotels not to buy them. Buy recycled or FSC certified paper products instead. Post this on your facebook.
Rainforest conservation is one of the main missions of our business at Vermont Woods Studios. We extend our gratitude to Leonardo DiCaprio who has been an outspoken champion of the tiger and WWF's Save Tigers Now campaign. The goal of Save Tigers Now is to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger but that can't happen unless we change our buying habits. Tiger numbers have declined 97% in the past 100 years. There may be as few as 3,200 wild tigers left in existence, the lowest number ever recorded.
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Today the World Wildlife Fund reports that after losing nearly 70 per cent of its forest habitat and half its population in one generation, the Sumatran elephant is heading for imminent extinction due to deforestation and habitat loss.
These elephants are not alone. According to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, 3-5 species become extinct every hour of every day. That’s up to 45,000 species every year!
What we’re doing at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture is trying to raise awareness about the how your choices as a consumer directly affect the extinction of endangered species like the Sumatran elephant. If you can avoid buying imported forest products, especially wood furniture and flooring (if it’s not clearly labelled Made in America–pretty much any furniture you’ll find at Home Depot, Walmart, Bob’s, Lowe’s or other big box stores is imported) you’ll be doing your part to lessen global deforestation and destruction of the habitat these elephants live in.
What else are we doing?
We support a number of projects to save endangered species. Here’s one I was pretty excited about last week: when I was on the Vernon Selectboard a few years back, our town partnered with the Vermont Division of Fish and Wildlife DFW to protect habitat and save the critically endangered spotted turtle from extinction. Last week we were able to celebrate our work. It’s 6 or 7 years later, but finally through a long process, the turtle habitat is being cared for and hopefully we’ll start to see their population come back.
How about you? Tell us what you’re doing in the comments below or on our Vermont Furniture Facebook.
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.
I’ve been trying to draw attention to the link between tiger conservation and furniture buying for years. But somehow it seems such a stretch to explain the connection that it gets lost in the ether. No one has noticed my efforts.
It’s hard to believe but there are only about 3200 tigers left in the wild. This tiger subspecies, the Siberian Tiger– the world’s largest cat is literally on the brink of extinction with only about 400 individuals remaining in their natural habitat. If you can’t stand the idea of letting these magnificient creatures disappear forever on our watch, help us spread the word. Follow us on twitter, fan us on facebook. There IS something you can do about keeping tigers on this planet for your children and grandchildren to marvel at.
2010 is the Year of the Tiger. Did you know there are only about 3200 tigers left in the wild? This tiger subspecies, the Siberian Tiger– the world's largest cat is literally on the brink of extinction with only about 400 individuals remaining in their natural habitat. I can't stand the idea of letting these magnificient creatures disappear forever on our watch. Can you?
If not, here's something you need to know and it has to do with where you and your friends, family and neighbors buy your furniture.
Siberian tigers live mainly in Russian forests which are now under assault by global timber conglomerates. Tiger habitat is being systematically decimated to provide illegal timber that's used to make cheap furniture which is marketed mainly in the USA. In fact, up to 90% of the furniture you see for sale in our country is made of illegally harvested wood that is clear cut from ecologically sensitive habitats like this.
You can help save the tiger by avoiding the purchase of imported wood furniture. Buy American made furniture instead. There are still many companies in the USA that specialize in furniture made from sustainably harvested wood that grows and is replanted right here in the USA. America has some of the world's best quality hardwoods and our forest conservation laws are working to keep it that way. One of our Vermont foresters told me the other day that in VT, our forests are growing at a rate that is faster than the harvest rate– certainly an important part of the definition of sustainability.
Part of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios is forest stewardship and a big part of that is protection of endangered species that call the forest their home. We have a particular soft spot for cats. Did you know that all of the worlds "big cats" are critically endangered? In the case of tigers, experts estimate there are as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild. Three subspecies have been driven to extinction in the past century alone.
One of our favorite non-profits, the World Wildlife Fund is trying to save the tiger. With the Chinese lunar calendar having just rolled us into the Year of the Tiger, they have developed a plan to secure a future for these magnificent big cats.
Check out Tx2. The goal is to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger. If you want to help, read more about it here and take action to save this iconic species of the forest.
In September, 2006, I was very fortunate to be able to join with Gerry Cooklin , Susan Inglis and a small group of visionary leaders in the furniture industry to talk about the unique status the furniture industry has as the main consumer of the forest’s most precious species. That was the birth of a non-profit now called the Sustainable Furniture Council, FSC. We are now over 100 members strong, all working to educate consumers and promote sustainable practices in our industry. Vermont Woods Studios is proud to be a founding member of this world-changing group.