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Green Simplicity: The Amish have been green for over 200 years!
Simply Amish is a company that utilizes the craftsmanship of 50 Amish workshops to produce premium quality furniture. The founders of Simply Amish use their 30+ years of experience in designing and specifying how each piece of furniture is made – ensuring the quality of these handmade products. This attention to detail, coupled with the Amish way of life, make Simply Amish one of the best quality products, but also one of the most environmentally friendly.
Although the Amish have been in America for over 200 years, many of their long-standing traditions are just now being practiced by “green” cabinet and furniture makers. Amish philosophy encourages “voluntary simplicity;” to work with the forces of nature and avoid the pitfalls of industrialized society which include mass consumption and “advanced” technology. Based on Amish principles they have developed business practices which are now being adapted by their more industrial competition.
“We did not really think to describe ourselves as “green” until we were asked to be founding members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council,” explains Simply Amish co-owner Kevin Kauffman. “It was at that moment that we looked back at ourselves and really saw what we were doing in a new way. The Council approached us because there were some things we had already been doing right.”
When asked about how Simply Amish came to use PureBond® hardwood plywood Kauffman explained, “We have 25 dealers in California who have to be CARB compliant. Columbia worked with our supplier to specially design a grade of plywood just for us!”
Also at the core of Amish values is an emphasis on hard work and good craftsmanship. This is perhaps most clearly evident in their designs – which include a variety of styles: Contemporary through Classical. Each style is made with the greatest of care, and as a basic point of business they do not take shortcuts with their craftsmanship, ensuring the highest level of quality built to survive generations.
Here are just a few examples of the “green” things Simply Amish have long been doing right.
At Simply Amish, the furniture is blanket-wrapped during shipping. They find it protects their furniture exceptionally well, and it comes with the added benefit that the blankets can be used over and over again. This dramatically reduces the amount of foam, cardboard and dangerous plastics that are normally sent to landfills.
More than 75% of all Simply Amish furniture is made within 20 miles of their distribution center. Imagine the carbon footprint of shipping furniture in from overseas versus having it made locally. All of the hardwood they use is local as well, gathered from within 500 miles of their headquarters.
The distribution center is geothermally powered and the walls use a special material that has an R value (measure of thermal insulation) twice that of average homes. Workshops are air and hydraulic but not electric powered. And lets be frank: whether they’re traveling by horse and buggy, canning the food they grow in their own gardens or drying their laundry in the light of the sun, it would be hard to find any culture in America that’s more environmentally friendly than the Amish.