Deforestation Fact: Mature Trees Are Better for the Environment

Deforestation Fact: Mature Trees Are Better for the Environment

It has long been understood that forests are one of the most essential environmental elements to keeping CO2 in balance in our atmosphere. Covering almost a third of the planet’s surface, forests are the “lungs of the planet”, pulling carbon dioxide out of the air and returning oxygen to it. “A single mature, leafy tree is estimated to produce a day’s supply of oxygen for anywhere from two to 10 people.” Russell McLendon, Mother Nature Network For this reason, deforestation caused by humans has been a central topic for protecting the environment and our climate. While the global forest cover has seen an uptick since the early 1980s, this is due to more tree growth in the “extratropics” than was possible in the past as these areas were too cold, even while we are seeing historic loss in tropical regions. With this understanding, there has been a lot of focus recently on the impact of trees and forests, and how reforestation could be key to mitigating accelerated climate change. That focus, however, relies on planting new trees which are immature and require time to grow before they can achieve the desired result. In a recent interview with Yale 360, William Moomaw (Professor Emeritus of International Environmental Policy at Tufts University) shared important new findings about the benefit of mature versus young trees for the emergent climate crisis. “We’ve seen a lot of interest lately in planting more trees. And planting trees is great and it makes us all feel good and it’s a wonderful thing to do and we absolutely should be reforesting areas that have been cut. A...
What is the Meaning of Living with Sustainability?

What is the Meaning of Living with Sustainability?

It seems like “sustainability” is what everyone is talking about everywhere we look these days…it’s even a major at some colleges now…and for good reason. But what does that mean, exactly? Sustainability Defined From a purely linguistic point of view, “sustainability” is defined by Merriam-Webster as: Capable of being sustaineda) of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damagede.g. sustainable techniques / sustainable agricultureb) of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methodse.g. sustainable society At its root, “sustainability” is about right relationship with our resources. Ensuring that as we collect or harvest materials from the Earth we do so in a way that will not use permanently damage those resources or use them up in their entirety. It is not a destination, but rather a way of being. Putting Sustainability into Practice So, with the understanding that sustainability is a mindset – a commitment to how we travel about and interact with the world – the next question is how we each can live sustainably?Here are key ways to ensure your own choices are sustainable ones:1. Know your sources – as best as possible, learn where your food, products, materials come from. Are the sources renewable? Does the continual harvesting of the source materials contribute to an overall overuse of that item? 2. Follow the money – sustainability is first about right relationship the planet, but then also about how we help sustain each other as fellow people on the planet. Do the farmers/makers/distributors ensure economic sustainability along with environmental? Are...
Where Does It Come From? The Origins of Bamboo

Where Does It Come From? The Origins of Bamboo

An evergreen, perennial, flowering grass, bamboo is known to be hundreds of centuries old and one of the most important plants in the world. Used throughout human history for a variety of products, bamboo has been a prime source of both food and life sustaining items. “The species of bamboo that we know today evolved from prehistoric grasses between thirty and forty million years ago, long after the extinction of the dinosaurs. It then became the major food source for herbivorous animals, eventually becoming a food source for the modern human being as well.” Bamboo Grove The word “bamboo” is believed to come from the Malay word “Mambu” or “Bambu,” depending on who you ask (Malay is the national language of Malaysia and Indonesia). In the late 16th century the Dutch named it “Bamboes” after which it got its Neo-Latin name “Bambusa“. (source)  Bamboo is so connected to life that several Asian cultures even have stories and ancient beliefs of humanity emerging from bamboo. Map of the “bamboo belt”; the growing around the world where bamboo thrives (source) Found growing natively on five continents, bamboo’s earliest known uses were for chopsticks and other eating utensils while also being an integral part of the human diet. According to China Today, the oldest archaeological finds of bamboo articles in China were unearthed from the remains of a primitive society that existed some 7,000 years ago in what is now Hemudu, Yuyao County, Zhejiang Province. In the Neolithic time, ancient Chinese people were using it for arrow making, construction, weaving, books, and paper.  “Archeologists working in the ruins of the Neolithic village...
New Report from The Sustainability Consortium Shows the Importance of Supply Chain Transparency

New Report from The Sustainability Consortium Shows the Importance of Supply Chain Transparency

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) released its 2019 Impact Report earlier this month, “Reaching Sustainability Through Transparency.” The report showcases year-over-year trends in sustainability reporting, and is part of TSC’s mission to translate the “best sustainability science into business tools…to create more sustainable consumer products…to drive environmental and social sustainability impact.” (source) The key area of sustainability focused on in this report is product supply chain transparency. “Transparency can demystify complex supply chains, and help different actors identify and minimize risks and improve conditions on the ground and inform whether and where progress is being made.” Toby Gardner and others, World Development Journal TSC’s latest report shows that product manufacturers which track their supply chain sources and processes have better insights into their own global operations and, through those insights, have more opportunity for making sustainable and environmentally responsible choices for their product and how it is made. The 2019 report shows a 30% increase in transparency from the previous year.  “Companies are increasingly taking action by setting science-based targets and committing to make products more sustainable.” Elizabeth Sturcken, Managing Director, EDF+Business, EDF At Greenington, we strive to have full insight into every aspect of our furniture from soil to store. Carefully analyzing the sustainability of the many pieces and processes that go into our furniture is not just a point of pride, it’s a passion. One that we stand by every day. Read the full report from TSC and learn more about how transparency in supply chains is making the sustainability...
Why Join the Sustainable Furnishings Council

Why Join the Sustainable Furnishings Council

At Greenington, our commitment to creating high quality, sustainable furniture isn’t just about the bottom dollar – it’s a commitment to a global movement to live more responsibly in every way. There are thousands of companies committed to this same ideal and one organization that is leading the way in the furniture industry, to raise standards and hold manufacturers accountable, is the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC). About the SFC Founded in October 2006, the SFC is a coalition of manufacturers, retailers and designers dedicated to raising awareness and expanding the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices across the home furnishings industry. “There is overwhelming scientific consensus that our world is experiencing dangerous global climate change, and equally overwhelming evidence that environmental pollutants are harming our health. It is urgent that we take immediate steps to minimize carbon emissions, reduce other pollutants, and remove unsustainable materials and harmful chemical inputs from all furnishings product platforms. SFC supports members of the industry in taking those steps.” Sustainable Furnishings Council The SFC’s mission is to help companies reduce their environmental footprints as they grow, and to help consumers find healthy furnishings.  To do so, they provide the education, promotion, and networking opportunities to raise consumer interest in environmentally safe furnishings. Why Join Being a member of SFC means that your company is part of supporting “the triple bottom line of PEOPLE – PLANET – PROFITS.” SFC Members lead the industry in best practices throughout their supply chains and are committed to continuous work toward a healthy future, inside and out. To become a member, companies complete a Best Practices Agreement that verifies how the...
Zero Waste Manufacturing: How Greenington Does It

Zero Waste Manufacturing: How Greenington Does It

As a company committed to caring for the planet, we pay attention to how all aspects of our process relate to the environment. Having sustainable and renewable source materials is one important part of that. Using every part of those materials is another.Our hand finished furniture is made of Moso bamboo, one of the planet’s superstar plants. Moso bamboo grows to full maturity in under 5 years, is able to be harvested without harming the mother root, and absorbs more carbon dioxide and puts out more oxygen than almost any other plant. In addition to using one of the most renewable resources there is, we are proud to say that we use every part of every bamboo stalk that enters our factory – creating a zero waste manufacturing process.Here’s how we do it: When the harvested bamboo arrives in our factory, our furniture makers begin the process of cutting the culms into the sizes we need. The Greenington factory uses the bottom of the culm for our furniture. We send the rest of the culm parts to other bamboo factories to make mat, basket or other bamboo products. Our furniture makers cut the selected bamboo culm into strips for our classic finish items or shred the fibers for our exotic finish items. During this process, there is some bamboo by-product that doesn’t make it into the pressed pieces and panels that we use to make our furniture. There are also pieces that are then trimmed in the crafting process that are remainders, as well. As part of our unique factory partnerships, Greenington delivers all of this by-product to other...

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