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...
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...
Protecting Pandas: Facts About Their Habitat and Moso Bamboo

Protecting Pandas: Facts About Their Habitat and Moso Bamboo

We often get asked about whether our bamboo furniture is part of the decline in panda habitat, declining food sources, and their endangerment. Proudly, we can say, “No, it is not.” Here’s why: Fact 1: Not All Types of Bamboo are Eaten by Pandas When most of us think of pandas, the image of one happily eating bamboo comes to mind. Bamboo is the main food source for Giant Pandas. Bamboo is “99 percent of their food—one reason they are relatively low-energy animals. To derive enough nutrients, pandas eat 20 to 40 pounds of plant material a day.” [source: National Geographic] There are many different types of bamboo, however, and not all of it is eaten by pandas. “Pandas like eating arrow bamboo, black bamboo, and ‘water bamboo’, along with about 20 other species.”  Greenington’s products are made of Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens), which is not one of the types of bamboo that pandas eat and live in.   Fact 2: Location Matters While they used to live “throughout southern and eastern China, as well as neighboring Myanmar and northern Vietnam… most of the remaining wild pandas now live in the Minshan and Qinling mountains” in South Central China. Moso bamboo – the only kind we use in our products – grows in the lower elevations, far from panda mountain habitat. Pandas neither eat it nor use it for making their homes.   Fact 3: Certified Safe While we are grateful to know pandas were deemed no longer endangered in 2016, they are far from in the clear as a species; industrialization and hunting/poaching continue to threaten their survival. As...
The Environmental Benefits of Bamboo Furniture

The Environmental Benefits of Bamboo Furniture

For most of history, furniture has been made from a variety of hardwoods that come from trees and forests around the world. While formerly in abundance, as time has shown, the energy it takes to grow and maintain hardwood forests is a major factor in the increasing negative impact humans are having on our planet’s climate. As scientists look at how to reverse this impact, the need to restore the balance of the plant/CO2/oxygen relationship in our atmosphere has become a central focus for many.  In recent decades, people around the world have been looking for better alternatives to wood to have more sustainable and responsible choices in the furniture they buy and live with. A closer look at bamboo has revealed it to be one of civilization’s best options for reducing carbon emissions worldwide. “‘This is a truly remarkable plant,’ said Director General of INBAR Dr. Hans Friederich, encouraging the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to explicitly recognize bamboo as a strategic resource in combating climate change…” (source) With over 20 years in creating high-quality bamboo products, Greenington’s founder, Yang Lin, knew the benefits and potential uses of bamboo were exactly what the furniture market was looking for in sustainable living.  Why Bamboo? The short answer: it’s a grass, not a tree. This means it grows faster and with more benefits to the environment than any hardwood around the world: As a species, bamboo is fast growing; returning to full maturity in less than 5 years. As a plant, bamboo requires minimal water to grow and no additional chemicals to cultivate. As a part of...

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