How Sustainable Forestry in the Furniture Industry Protects the Planet

We believe that practices are genuinely sustainable when they meet the needs of people, protect the planet, and create economic impact. As leaders in our industry, our goal is to highlight the innovative (and traditional) best practices that make it possible for wood furniture making to sustain itself for generations to come. Read part one of our triple bottom line sustainability series on people here.

Our Planet

Photo by Siska Vrijburg on Unsplash

Illegal logging and widespread deforestation has already begun to affect our climate and ecosystem. Rainforests that once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface now cover a mere 6%. The last remaining rainforests could be gone in less than 40 years. Rainforest deforestation is destroying or severely threatening nearly half of the world’s species of plants and animals over the next 25 years.


But a public misconception is that sustainable forestry is only about fighting deforestation and conservation. Logging techniques and overall forest management play a crucial role in keeping forests healthy. Long-term management plans focus on prioritizing which areas of the forest to harvest to maximize growth. These plans also help us avoid widespread damage during wildfires. It’s also possible to harvest forest lumber without negatively affecting the trees that remain. We refer to these practices as reduced-impact logging techniques. At Stonehurst, we work with a state-certified professional forester to select which trees to cut or keep. We refer to this practice as single tree selection logging.

Forest at Stonehurst

Tree farms, while controversial, can play a role in sustainable forestry. Tree plantations actively regenerate forests by developing on land that was previously deforested. Especially in areas that are experiencing rapid deforestation, responsibly-grown tree plantations can alleviate demand and protect natural forests. Planting two trees for every harvested tree is a common industry practice. However, we do not use woods from areas being converted from forests to plantations or non-forest use as part of our furniture collections. Our trusted craftsmen only use sustainably harvested timber.

 

Sustainable forestry is the only way to ensure the long term health and growth of the world’s forests. Although it might seem as though anything made from harvesting wood is harmful to the environment, that is actually not the case.

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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.

Alexandra Thompson

Alexandra Thompson is a Zero Waste & Recycling Expert and the Sustainability Programming Manager for Waste Free Earth. Waste Free Earth is on a mission to reinvent how society produces and consumes waste through education, engagement, and empowerment. They are changing the current business culture to one that prioritizes zero waste systems over single-use landfill items.