I’m super excited today because our friend Jose Luis Alvarez is coming to visit Vermont this fall to collaborate with us on a project to help save the Monarch butterfly. Jose Luis is a silviculturist in Mexico who has devoted his life to restoring the forested winter habitat of the Monarch. Last month I traveled to Michoacan, Mexico to meet Jose Luis & see his work. I love Monarchs & we’ve been conserving their summer habit here in Vermont for many years so I thought maybe we should collaborate and get some Vermont-Mexico synergy going!
Last week I visited Michoacan, Mexico, the winter home to Vermont’s big, beautiful orange and black Monarch butterfly. As a wood furniture company we at Vermont Woods Studios wanted to support a reforestation project that would help protect the endangered butterfly’s habitat. I did quite a bit of research, trying to understand who was leading area environmental efforts and then I traveled to Mexico to see if we could help them.
At 7am on Sunday morning I’ll be boarding a flight to Morelia, Mexico. Woohoo! The trip evolved out of my obsession with forest conservation and the Monarch Butterfly. If you’re a frequent flyer on this blog, you’ve probably noticed we love environmental projects like this.
The other day, Megan (our ace Marketing Maven) suggested I try to boil down some of my previous blogs and summarize why a Vermont furniture store would want to help save the Monarch Butterfly. So here goes… the Top 4 reasons are:
The Environment Is Important To Us
It’s not just me. At Vermont Woods Studios we are a community of nature lovers, idealists, world travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. Most of us grew up in rural places and have had much interaction with butterflies, birds and other critters throughout our lives. Monarchs are such a big, beautiful butterfly! They were everywhere in Vermont. It used to be practically a right of passage for kids to collect them and watch their metamorphosis every August. Now they are extremely rare and we worry about that.
The Environment Is Important To Our Customers
Our customers have many options as to where they buy their furniture. Often times they tell us that when it comes to the final decision, with all else being equal, they are looking for an environmentally responsible company. We are trying to live up to that.
We Want to Change the World
Getting a paycheck is not enough for all the hard work that goes into making this Vermont furniture store a success. We want to feel like our efforts matter. Like there’s a purpose behind our work.
Changing the world is a little hard to get our arms around though. But we can change a little part of it: like restoring habitat for the Monarchs. And that’s totally possible because in Vermont, Monarch habitat is primarily one plant, milkweed. It’s easy… we collect milkweed seeds in the Fall and plant them in the Spring. This year we’re hoping to have a sizable plot of milkweed habitat in the backyard here at Stonehurst.
We Believe Business Has a Responsibility to Make the World a Better Place
With our business behind us (founded on the mission of forest conservation) we don’t have to stop at planting milkweed in Vermont. We can extend our conservation efforts. We know that Monarchs don’t spend their winters here– they migrate to Mexico and roost in evergreen (oyamel) trees in the mountains of Michoacan. Those oyamel trees are being illegally logged and the Monarch’s habitat is disappearing.
What difference does it make if we restore their habitat here in Vermont? The species will still go extinct if they lose their winter habitat. So that brings me back to my trip to Mexico. I’ll be working with Jose Luis Alvarez of the La Cruz Habitat Protection Program to help conserve existing forest habitat and replant what’s been destroyed. You can find details here in last week’s blog. By the way, there’s still time to join me on this adventure!
I’d love to hear what you think about butterflies, business and changing the world. Please comment on Facebook or in the section below. Thanks for reading.
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