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Cutting carbon one board at a time

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ShackletonThomas is a Bridgewater, Vermont based company that specializes in making fine handmade furniture, pottery and accessories.

For the past 25 years, ShackletonThomas has made a commitment to help curb the effects of climate change. The primary material used for its furniture is wood that comes from within the Northeast US, which keeps emissions from transportation low. This renewable resource is harvested from managed forests under strict FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) rules. The company’s extensive use of hand tools not only gives the furniture and pottery a unique character that can only be found in handmade pieces, but it significantly cuts energy consumption by greatly reducing the widespread use of large machinery. Sawdust from the furniture workshop is repurposed as animal bedding by Doten Farm, just minutes away in Barnard, VT.

In 2006, Charles Shackleton started The Naked Table Project to connect people with nature and their community as well as showcase aspects of sustainable furniture making. Weekend participants, guided by the company’s furniture makers, build Naked Tables from Vermont Sugar Maple that are harvested and milled within a hyper-local area. This project not only drastically reduces transportation emissions from trucking, but also supports and connects to the local economy. Vermont Natural Coatings — a whey-based and low VOC finish — is used to coat these tables.

As co-owner Charles Shackleton explains, "Miranda and I make furniture and pottery from wood and clay as a way to express, not only our passion for creating beautiful functional objects, but especially as a way of expressing our love for the environment. Within every piece we make with our heart and our hands is a message about our philosophy of life.”