April is Earth Month and April 22nd is Earth Day.
At Capers one of our goals is to support the environment whenever we can through the products that we buy, and in turn sell to our customers. We work with companies selling sustainably sourced products, up cycling and recycling. There’s a lot of creativity out there.
Earth Day arose from the efforts of San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 to generate support for environmental issues. The most common Earth Day practice is to plant trees, and you can see these efforts organized around the world by various organizations.
Although we may not be planting trees at Capers, we do work with vendors who support responsible environmental practices. Some of our most beautiful tables and case goods are from Classic Home. Classic Home is committed to supporting sustainably sourced lumber, using planation-grown and reclaimed woods harvested under FSC guidelines, and up cycling with their “Some of a Kind” pieces.
Our upholstery companies, Lee and Cisco Brothers, both use FSC lumber for their frames and offer Inside Green and Natural Lee programs which utilize organic and sustainable fabrics, use no flame retardant chemicals, and apply low VOC stains on their woods.
What does all of this mean?
— Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organization established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. They are the gold standard in forest certification, ensuring that forests are protected for future generations and have strict guidelines for qualification.
— VOCs are volatile organic compounds. They have a high vapor pressure which results in them evaporating and entering the environment easily. These chemical compounds can be naturally occurring or human-made. Since some VOCs are toxic and their affects are cumulative and long term many environmentally conscious companies are choosing to use them sparingly or not at all whenever possible.
— Upcycling is the process of reusing materials in their previous form with little or no processing. Our Arch console and Sebastian side table are beautiful example of this. Both were built from found pieces and repurposed into their current form. We even have river rocks carved into planters.
How does this differ from recycling?
— Recycling converts previously used materials into another form. The term was originally applied to waste, but “waste” is a relative term and you can reuse, reprocess, and reclaim just about anything. It doesn’t have to be waste material, although that’s a goal. The most eco-conscious factories attempt to reclaim everything, from water and energy to the sawdust on the floor.
Our Dash and Albert PET (short for a complicated name for polyester) rugs are an example of recycling. Water bottles were processed and turned into another product. These recycled “fabrics” are excellent indoor/outdoor rugs and hold up through a good cleaning. Just hose them off and they bounce right back. They come in a variety of prints, colors, and sizes and are available to order as well as in stock at our store.
There are so many opportunities to support our environment. We have manufacturers as well as artisans who are creative and socially conscious. Think outside the box. You may find an opportunity that you hadn’t thought of. We have greeting cards made from pencil shavings and recycled books and newspapers! We have jewelry bangles made from recycled plastic and even vegan cuffs.
We look for opportunities whenever we’re at market. Who says you can’t live well while living responsibly? We’re certainly going to do our best, and help our customers to do so as well!