Environmental Science for a Changing World
Today I'm sending out big thanks to Professor Susan Karr, co-author of the textbook Environmental Science for a Changing World by Karr, Interlandi, and Houtman. It's an online (and hardcopy) textbook that's incredibly engaging. It explores topics that led to the creation of Vermont Woods Studios, including forest conservation, ocean plastic pollution, climate change, pollution, environmental economics, human populations, and feeding the world. The book uses real life examples of people, governments, non-profits and businesses that are committed to sustainability and conservation.
In Chapter 5, Susan discusses Green Business and profiles us. "Vermont Woods Studios is one example of a furniture company that operates with a green ethos in mind. The company's efforts go far beyond the production of their furniture. It raises awareness about the problems of tropical deforestation and takes steps to address the problem. For every product sold they plant 2 trees. Their motivation is to help reforest those areas where trees are being unsustainably harvested for furniture and other products. So far they have planted 50,000 trees in the Amazon rainforest and in the forest wintering grounds of the Monarch butterfly in Mexico." Susan even mentioned our Save the Monarchs tour and the migration assistance we provide for spotted salamanders. Thanks!
We're grateful to the authors for noting that "The production of wood furniture can have a serious negative environmental impact, from the use of unsustainably harvested wood to hazardous chemical solvents in the glues and finishes that accompany the process. But many furniture manufacturers are intentionally pursuing sustainable methods of production."
Our Green Mission
When Susan reached out to me last year, asking if she could profile Vermont Woods Studios in her book, I was thrilled. As Dennis puts it, the work I do in driving our company's environmental mission is like singing in the shower. Most people never hear me. So it's exciting to get recognition and help in raising awareness about where wood furniture comes from. As a green business, we try to persuade people to buy furniture that's made with sustainably harvested, North American wood, thus avoiding furniture made from illegal rainforest woods.
This Brighton dining set is handcrafted in Vermont of solid cherry wood that was sustainably harvested in North America.
Can A Mission Driven Company Compete?
I started Vermont Woods Studios as an experiment to see if a mission driven company could actually survive in today's ultra competitive, price-driven, online market. I quickly learned that products don't sell just because they're eco-friendly. They sell if they provide the best quality, style and value for the price. Being eco-friendly is a bonus, though and one that our customers appreciate. With their support, it has helped us to survive and thrive.