Monday, September 29, 2008

Auto racing challenges manufacturers to go green...

The "green" movement in motorsports gains significant momentum this weekend at Road Atlanta as one of endurance racing's crown jewels, Petit Le Mans kicks off for the 11th time. This race will be the first to use the Green Racing Protocols as developed by SAE International, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

This "race within a race" will be contested as part of the 10-hour, 1000 mile event on October 4th. A special trophy will be given to the manufacturer that, based on specified criteria, best represents sustainability. The factors that will be used to deterimine the winner of the Green Challenge include:
  • Weight
  • Vehicle speed
  • Distance travelled
  • Exhaust emissions
  • Environmental footprint of fuel used

One of the favorites in the Green Challenge is Corvette Racing (above). The team switched to e85 cellulosic ethanol at the beginning of this season. Cellulosic ethanol and grain-based ethanol produce the same end product from different feedstocks. Conventional ethanol is derived from grains such as corn, wheat or soybeans. There are many questions regarding the impact of conventional ethanol production on the food chain. By contrast, cellulosic ethanol is produced from a variety of biomass including agricultural plant wastes, sawdust and paper pulp.

Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing's Program Manager discussed the Green Challenge on SPEED TV's Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain last night (below). The Petit Le Mans race will be shown live on SPEED TV.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What is a sustainable forest?

Many people and companies claim that their wood products are sustainable, but what does that really mean? There is a plethora of information and misinformation regarding forest sustainability.

The generally accepted definition of a sustainable forest, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) goes something like this:

  • the stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems.

There are more than 50 organizations worldwide that certify that these forest management practices are met. Some of the more common certification standards include:

The twist stools, end tables, wall panels and accessories sold by Terra Furnishings are hand carved in Thailand and are certified by the Royal Forestry Department. Thailand has promoted sustainable wood growth and harvesting practices dating back to the 1950s. Their guidelines insure that land is reclaimed for reforestation and controlled harvesting while allowing the country's active woodcarving industry to thrive.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

1% For The Planet.... making a difference

We are proud to announce that Terra Furnishings has joined 1% For The Planet and will be contributing 1% of our sales to environmental groups around the world.

Since 2002, 1% For The Planet has accepted members who understand that industry and ecology are inherently connected. Now with over 700 members, each donating to their choice of over 1500 environmental organizations, 1% For The Planet has become a recognized force for change. In 2006, the organization was featured on the NBC Nightly News segment "Making a Difference" in which Rehema Ellis profiled founders Yvon Chouinard and Craig Matthews. Video of that segment is available HERE.

We hope that other companies will join us in making a commitment to our planet.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Unlimited energy? Are the oceans the answer?

People have talked for decades about harnessing the tides to create electricity. Unlike solar and wind power, the tides produce a steady and predictable source of energy. So, what is being done to utilize this virtually limitless resource?

A company by the name of Ocean Renewable Power Company has been working in Maine to make this dream a reality. A recent MSNBC article details their attempts to power homes using nothing but the twice-a-day tidal changes.

Is this the future of power generation? The cure for our dependence on foreign oil? Tell us what you think!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Some more info about our products.....

Here is a really cool PowerPoint presentation about how our products are made. Just click on the link below to download and enjoy! (Note: this file is about 25mb and may take a few minutes to save. You must have PowerPoint installed to view this file)

From tree limb to art....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

About our wood products.....

Most of our furniture is made from the wood of the Monkey Pod (Samanea saman) tree. Also known as the Rain Tree, it is a stunning, fast-growing tree that can reach up to 80 feet tall with a 5 foot diameter trunk.

Thai craftsmen use the branches of the Monkey Pod tree for most of their carving work, thus allowing the tree to live on. Our stools, tables and wall panels are hand-crafted works of art and each is one-of-a-kind.

Welcome to Terra Furnishings!

Terra Furnishings is here!

Who are we? Well, we are a retailer of eco-friendly home furnishings. Our products include stools, tables, spa essentials, wall panels, pottery and other household items. We are dedicated to bringing you products from around the world that are made from eco-sensitive materials and processes.

Visit us at to see our complete line of products.