View through Borneo rainforest Photo By doug88888Last week: October 12th through the 18th was World Rainforest Week. The Rainforest Action Network was promoting education and attention to the protection of rainforests worldwide. The worldwide tree population is at risk due to irresponsible logging techniques, clear cutting for cattle production, and the effects of global warming. Education about stopping these destructive forces is incredibly important as rainforests, both tropical and temperate are vital ecosystems. They are completely necessary to our environment as well as the critters and species that live within them. 

Deforestation - Backcountry Mad-7256-21A Photo By World Resources Institute StaffEven thought World Rainforest Week has passed, we want to remind everyone how precious these forests are and how important it is to stay involved. Although the Week brought attention to the cause, it should not be the end point of the effort. In fact, the Rainforest Action Network has some great tips on raising awareness for movement, as well as directly getting involved. Probably the easiest and quickest way to help out is through making a monetary donation to the Rainforest Action Network. But if you have more time to spare consider helping out by gaining signatures for the petition against Cargill, or telling President Obama how you feel about clean energy jobs and stopping dirty oil producers,  or start a local chapter and get involved in your community. 

Remember that even though the official World Rainforest Week is over, the rainforests are still an intrical part of this world. We can not let them be destroyed and be sure to keep spreading awareness and involvement for the trees. Because after all we should be celebrating them all year long!


Maine Logging Truck Photo By Tony the MisfitThey’re comin’ outta the woodwork, we tell ya! In light of the impending crash of most of the fuel types that keep our modern lives chugging along, energy and manufacturing companies high and low seem to be gearing up for profit-bearing alternatives. The Agence France-Presse recently posted on that a number of logging operations throughout Europe and North America are being severely affected by the downturn in new housing construction and are expanding into the burgeoning wood pellet market.

img_0057 Photo By jhritzSo, what the hell is a wood pellet?  According to, wood pellets are pill-sized, generally made from compacted sawdust from manufacturing waste, produce more heat than raw wood and can be used as a fuel for boilers and domestic heating stoves.  The Pellet Fuels Institute  mentions that the pellet fuel industry has also entered into large-scale commercial applications, providing heat and energy (via boilers) to schools, theaters, prisons, manufacturing facilities and farms.  Both sites explain that wood pellets are almost carbon-neutral (98% emissions-free), thus having a trivial impact on the greenhouse effect.

Deforestation - Backcountry Mad-7256-22A Photo By World Resources Institute StaffSounds pretty good!  However, there always seems to be a seedier side to every exciting alternative fuel. references a study from The Nature Conservancy, claiming that the destruction of grassland, rainforests, peatlands or savannas in countries like Brazil and the U.S., for purposes of general biofuel harvesting, released 17-420 times more carbon dioxide emissions than the fuels they replace.  Such staggering numbers might point to various players in the industry striving only to make a buck, turning a blind eye to environmental impact.  Looking at timber logging specifically, a more obvious problem must be assessed, that of large-scale clear-cutting.  This destructive method of tree harvesting, still practiced by some of the biggest names in the lumber industry, not only lends creedence to the above-mentioned statistics but also suggests that if lumber for the housing industry, as well as various paper and wood products, declines enough, the material used to create wood pellets might step up from the factory floors and become the entire trees themselves, perpetuating this questionable system.

Dying Amwell Corn Stalks Photo By aturkusBut interestingly, the Pellet Fuels Institute also briefly mentions that fuel pellets can also be made from various biomass alternatives other than wood, such as cornstalks, straw, wastepaper and even animal waste.  Perhaps methods to efficiently collect said products might spring up and, combined with a lower percentage of fuel made of wood (preferably harvested ethically), a system of using biofuel pellets might become as sustainable as they are practicle to burn.  Plus they just look so neat!  Who wouldn’t wanna pick up a handful of these lil’ buggers and throw them on the fire?

When we hosted a booth at the Going Green Expo in Boston last month, we found out, much to our surprise, that many people, green-educated and not, have absolutely no idea what the FSC is!?! Well, today we hope to help fix that problem and tell you all about our friends at the FSC.

FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council which is a an international non-profit organization that works to protect our world’s forests by promoting responsible and sustainable use and management of the trees. You all know how bad forestry practices can not only harm our natural eco-systems but also the indigenous peoples and wildlife that traditionally make the forest their home (clear cutting is bad!!). The FSC is here to rid the world of these bad practices and guide us to manage forests in a healthy, sustainable way.

Clear cutting: 180px-rouge_clearcut.jpg

FSC Forest (where our tree products come from): 2097118175_093d1f499f_m.jpg

Any product bearing the FSC logo is a third party certification that the forest producers are managing their trees in a sustainable and environmentally-healthy way. The FSC accreditation is growing rapidly all over the world, so make sure you look out for it:


You may have already noticed the FSC mark on many paper and wood products. For the first time, probably ever, I’ve been psyched to get marketing mailings from Comcast, the USPS and catalogues from Crate and Barrel in my mailbox. Why? Because they all now use FSC-certified paper and proudly stamp this mark on their mailings! You may also notice the plethora of FSC-certified wood offered at The Home Depot.

The FSC loves our shoes because the rubber that the sole is made of comes from an FSC sustainable forest. Not only is this ‘real deal’ latex all natural with no added man-made chemicals like rubber found in other shoe brands, but the trees the rubber is tapped from are cared for so that they will stand, tall and healthy in the future. That is definitely something we are excited about and we hope you are too! Here’s to walking with a real sustainable sole!



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