Alabama Sawyer’s Not So Secret Diary

1stdibs 40% off Aberdeen About Us AIA air quality air quality widget AK Jewelry AL Businesses AL.com alabama Alabama Sawyer Alabama Sawyer logo Alabama the Beautiful alasaw Alva Amanda Loper American Institute of Architects American Society of Interior Designers apps apps for nature lovers April ASID Aspen astronomy background ban best of bike biodegradable biodegradable garbage bags Biophilia Biophilic Design Birmingham Birmingham Businesses Birmingham Museum of Art Birmingham Organizations Birmingham Zoo blog board oil Boston botany Bottle Opener brief Bromberg's Buffalo Rock bug repellent built in shelving Burke Decor butcher blocks Cahaba River Society candles Captain America carbon carbon sequestration carpool cat litter cats charcuterie Christmas cider vinegar cities Citizen's Climate Lobby city city composting programs classic clever tips + tricks Cliff Cliff Spencer coasters cocktail cubes coffee shop Colorado colorful colors Common compost compost pile composting composting programs concentration conference contest corner shelving creative writing Crying Indian PSA custom table height cutting board cutting board oil David Baker Architects decomposition Dering Hall Design Process differences in discount dish soap DIY Earth Earth Day Earth Overshoot Day Earthrise EastFork Pottery EastFork Pottery Giveaway ECam and Co. eco friendly eco friendly dish detergent eco friendly dish soaps education electric cars English: Literature entertainment environmental environmental glossary environmental holiday Etsy Facebook fallen trees Famous in AL FAS favorites female owned businesses films First and Seconds fixed bracket shelving floating shelving focus food hacks food waste Food52 Fossil Fools Day free shipping Friends of Shades Creek fruit fly fruit fly trap garbage bags garden gardening gas tax GASP gift gift guide giveaway glass recycling glossary Golden Rule Barbecue Google Google Reviews Goop Goop Exclusive goopGIFT graded timber graded wood green green burial green products greenwashing Grove Collaborative Gulf State Park Gulf State Park shipment Gumption handmade hardwood health benefits health concerns health information Hemlock Miyake Bench Hemsmith history of AL holiday holiday gift guide holidays home essentials How is Wood Graded? how to how to guide how to polish wood furniture hybrid cars ice bucket Incense Set informational instructional guide interior design Interior Designer International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict interview jar Kamado-San Donabe Kassatex Keep America Beautiful kitchen knife holder knot perfect Lanett Credenza Leigh Leigh Spencer liberal arts link list local businesses Londontown longest running Los Angeles lumber Made South magnolia MAKEbhm Memphis Merchandise Michael Bruno Milwaukee mineral oil miyake miyake bench Montpelier mosquitoes movies Mullein & Sparrow municipal compost program nadii NASA National Endangered Species Day National Hardwood Lumber Association National Recycling Day natural burial natural cat litter nature nature lovers New York New York Times news NHLA Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin non profit oiling a cutting board orchard table packaging paint Pale Blue Dot pallet pallet compost pile pecan PeeWee Herman personal story Petite Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin photography plants plastic bag plastic garbage bags plastic wrap podcast pop up shop Precious Plastic Alabama PSA public service announcement public transportation reclaimed wood recycle Recycled Moroccan Glassware recycling Red Mountain Park red oak Remodelista reviews round sunrise table Saks Fifth Avenue salvaged vs reclaimed wood salvaged wood science scratch and dent Select Self Made Self Made Foodie Giveaway Sen. Steve Livingston sensitive groups set design shelving shipment shirt Sloss Furnace smart phones soap software soil South Jordan Spiderman Spring Break 2019 sputnik table standard table height Stump Side Table Summer Sanctuary Giveaway Surface Measurement sustainable sweepstakes table height table top Taking Care of Our State Tender Earth Candle Tennessee The Blue Marble The Boogie The Helm theater timber timber vs lumber Tom Ford transportation trash bags tray trees Trilogy Leather urban forests urban timber urban trees urban wood utensil holder vegetarian walk wall paint walnut walnut wine rack Waverly Table WBHM weedkiller What's the difference? white oak white oak host stand Wide Plank on Legacy Base Wide Plank Table on Sunrise Base wine rack Wine X Wine Rack wood wood furniture wood furniture polish wood polish wood scented Wood Shops wood vs timber vs lumber wooden cutting board Workshops Inc

GASP Air Quality Widget

July 01, 2019

GASP Air Quality Widget

Here is a brief piece of info on the GASP air quality widget. Their website provides a useful widget that tells you the air quality in your area

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Alabama's Recent Ban on Banning Plastic Bags | AL.com Article

June 24, 2019

Alabama's Recent Ban on Banning Plastic Bags | AL.com Article

Recently, the Alabama legislature passed a bill intended to prohibit the ban of plastic bags and other single use containers.

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3 Eco Friendly Ways To Repel Mosquitoes

June 17, 2019

3 Eco Friendly Ways To Repel Mosquitoes

It’s summer in Alabama, which means your body is gonna turn into a feeding ground for mosquitoes every time you walk outside. 

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We Love Grove Collaborative!

June 10, 2019

We Love Grove Collaborative!

If you’re reading this, it seems likely that you have an interest in sustainable products. If you are interested, you’ve come to the right place

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June 03, 2019

Alabama Sawyer on Food52

If you haven’t seen what Alabama Sawyer is selling over on Food52, I’d strongly recommend you check it out. Some of our products on Food52 are only available through their website

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Our Alabama Sawyer Google Reviews

May 29, 2019

Our Alabama Sawyer Google Reviews

Type 'Alabama Sawyer' in Google's search bar and you'll find that our store has three 5-star reviews. Two of those reviews include written descriptions: 

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Our Etsy Product Reviews

May 22, 2019

Our Etsy Product Reviews

If you head over to Alabama Sawyer's Etsy page, you'll see that we have a total of thirty two 5-star reviews.

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Famous in AL: Sloss Furnace

May 15, 2019

Famous in AL: Sloss Furnace

Please note that “Famous in AL” is a series of blog posts on famous historical Alabama sites for the purpose of celebrating the culture and history found in our own state.

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What Is ... Carbon Sequestration?

May 08, 2019

What Is ... Carbon Sequestration?

The long-term storage of carbon in plantssoils, geologic formations, and the ocean.

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Standard Table Heights

May 01, 2019

Standard Table Heights

There are standard table top heights, then there are custom table heights. The height of a custom table will vary depending on table function, user height, chair height, and several other factors.

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Butcher Block Counter Tops

April 30, 2019

Butcher Block Counter Tops

Remodelista recently published a blog titled, "Remodeling 101: All About Butcher Block Countertops." 

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Why is it hard to recycle glass in AL?

April 29, 2019

Why is it hard to recycle glass in AL?

Why is it so difficult to find places in Alabama that will recycle glass? I’m definitely not the first person to ask.

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Earth Day

April 22, 2019

Earth Day

As you may or may not know, today (April 22nd) is Earth Day! If you've been living under a rock, Earth Day is easily the most well known environmental holiday in the world.

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The Black Marble

April 22, 2019

3 Amazing NASA Photos of Earth

Due to US copyright laws, NASA photographs actually belong in the public domain. Who knew

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Eco Friendly Ways to Save Money

April 15, 2019

Eco Friendly Ways to Save Money

Usually the big misconception about going eco friendly is it requires gratuitous time and money to accomplish.

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Clever Eco Hints for Coffee Shops

April 08, 2019

Clever Eco Hints for Coffee Shops

My boss recently visited the The Red Cat Coffee House, and was so impressed by their clever use of uncooked spaghetti coffee stirrers,

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Leigh and Velma's Spring Break (2019)

April 02, 2019

Leigh and Velma's Spring Break (2019)

I am heading through the Smokey Mountains from Asheville, NC with my daughter, Velma, who is in the back seat.

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What is... ASID and AIA?

April 02, 2019

What is... ASID and AIA?

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) aims to "advance the interior design profession" and give interior designers certain tools and resources to help them out along the way.

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3 Ways to Celebrate 'Keep America Beautiful' Month

April 01, 2019

3 Ways to Celebrate 'Keep America Beautiful' Month

April is 'Keep America Beautiful' month! One excellent way to celebrate would be to participate in the trash tag challenge (which seems to be declining in popularity and relevance unfortunately.) What's the trash tag challenge you ask? On Reddit and Twitter, users have been taking 'before' pictures of areas filled with litter; and 'after' pictures of all the litter collected into trash bags. I love the trash tag challenge because it's a viral trend that benefits the environment.

Another way to participate would be to get your workplace involved in 'Recycling at Work'. This voluntary national effort is dedicated to increasing recycling in the workplace. That's a pretty noble cause, isn't it?

Of course the trash tag challenge and the 'Recycling at Work' effort aren't the only ways to participate in 'Keep America Beautiful' month. Planting and maintaining a garden is another great way to celebrate.

 

A woman enjoying gardening outdoors - Free Stock Photo

Since we're on the topic of gardening, composting for your garden is incredibly resourceful and will greatly help in your gardening adventures. If you need tips getting started, read our blog post on building a pallet backyard compost bin. What's more, this FineGardening article will give you all the information you need to start composting. Keep in mind that you'll need to store the compost somewhere before moving it to your backyard pile, so feel free to check out our beautiful Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin. These expertly crafted bins come in magnolia, walnut, and sapwood made using timber sourced almost entirely from the urban forests of Alabama.  

 

Sources & Further Reading

Olive, Jim. “STUDENTS PICK UP TRASH ALONG ROADSIDE.” Wikipedia Commons, Source U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, 9 Oct. 2011, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:STUDENTS_PICK_UP_TRASH_ALONG_ROADSIDE_-_NARA_-_543927.jpg.

Asarch, Steven. “Viral #TrashTag Movement Wants to Make the World a Cleaner Place.” Newsweek, 11 Mar. 2019, www.newsweek.com/trashtag-trash-tag-challenge-twitter-reddit-1359221.

“Keep America Beautiful.” Keep America Beautiful, 6 Feb. 2019, www.kab.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwm-fkBRBBEiwA966fZBtWrzdMQqR5QoLIeuoiKKZsJAIaZEVuJxcy9PgYPZgVFWqIDLBUshoCiLYQAvD_BwE.

“Get Started in Composting.” FineGardening, 25 Apr. 2014, www.finegardening.com/article/get-started-in-composting.

“Take the Pledge Andearn Recognition For.” RecyclingWork RSS, recyclingatwork.org/.

“A Woman Enjoying Gardening Outdoors.” Freestockphotos.biz, www.freestockphotos.biz/stockphoto/16337.

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Our 5 Most Popular Species of Wood

April 01, 2019

Our 5 Most Popular Species of Wood

The dark brown wood is strong with a handsome grain and polishes easily. Rich, flavorful nuts taste delicious fresh and retain their flavor and texture during cooking.

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5 Environmental Holidays

April 01, 2019

5 Environmental Holidays

Most people reading this will know about and love Earth Day, so you’re probably aware that it’s celebrated around the globe every April 22nd. What you might not know is that peace activist John McConnell created Earth Day and its unofficial flag (see the featured image above.) 

But Earth Day isn’t the only environmentally oriented holiday, meaning April 22nd isn’t the only time to celebrate our planet. In fact, ‘celebrate’ might not even be the best word here since you can celebrate the Earth all you want, but at the end of the day the Earth should benefit from those celebrations. Instead, I think that ‘honor’ is better suited for our purposes. Read on to learn about 5 non Earth Day environmental holidays to honor our planet:

Fossil Fools Day: This holiday gets extra points for cleverly referencing April Fools Day by taking place on April 1st while the name is a play on the words ‘fossil fuels’ + ‘April Fools Day’.

Clever name aside, Fossil Fools Day (FFD) began in 2004 across the US and Canada as an environmental demonstration day. Now FFD is celebrated in many different cities all over the world with events intended to promote education regarding alternative energy sources, environmental justice, effective legislation, and corporate responsibility to the environment (Source: Wikipedia).

Earth Overshoot Day: You better get your passport ready, ‘cause you’re about to go on a guilt trip with this one. Nah, just kidding. Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) will, however, stir your inner eco-activist when you learn what it’s about. The EOD’s website put it best, “Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when we (all of humanity) have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year. In 2018, it fell on August 1. We are using 1.7 Earths. We use more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate through overfishing, overharvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than ecosystems can absorb” (Source: Overshootday.org).

That’s upsetting. So what does Earth Overshoot Day do to ameliorate that? More importantly, how can I help? The website then goes on to explain (with some excellent resources), that it is possible to improve sustainability in the areas of, “food, cities, population, and energy to #MoveTheDate” (Source: Overshootday.org). There it is, the ultimate goal of EOD is to #MoveTheDate, and the website gives a number of ways to achieve that.

International Day For Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict: In 2001, the UN declared that November 6th would be the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, which I'm going to be referring to using the acronym IDPEEWAC.

The UN created IDPEEWAC to acknowledge the great damage that tends to come to the environment during wartime, and seeks to minimize it by implementing its own list of Sustainable Development Goals, which you can read more about by following the link to the UN's web page about the holiday (Source: UN.org).

National Recycling Day: You can probably guess just from its name what this holiday revolves around. National Recycling Day (NRD) falls on November 15th, and aims to persuade people into buying recycled goods and encourages people to recycle as much as possible.

However, it's not just about buying recycled products or using your recycling bin (although both of those things are important.) If you want to really dig your heels into it, then consider participating at a local event aimed at promoting the NRD and its goals (Source: NationalToday.com)

National Endangered Species Day: The holiday is held on the third day in May every year. I know what you're thinking, "Well, I'm not actively setting polar bears on fire OR stomping bees. How could I even help?" One way would be to donate money or participate in events for the National Wildlife Federation.

You also have the option to discuss the National Endangered Species day on social media with the '#ESDay', or even sign a petition. Oh, and if you come across an endangered specie? Try not to wreck its habitat (Source: NWF.org).

 

African Wild Dog

African Wild Dog (Source: Pixabay.com).

SOURCES:

Popular Science: “10 Environmental Holidays That Are Cooler Than Earth Day”

Wikipedia: “John McConnell”

Wikipedia: “Earth Day”

Wikipedia: “Fossil Fools Day”

Wikipedia: “Earth Overshoot Day”

Earth Overshoot Day home page

Wikipedia: "International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict"

UN.org: "International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of 

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April 01, 2019

The Old 280 Boogie

As an Alabama business, we love promoting and discussing some of the best Alabama has to offer. In fact, the Old 280 Boogie is one of those businesses that we love promoting.

What is The Boogie?

The Old 280 Boogie is a concert and multicultural event that takes place annually along, you guessed it, highway 280. According to the Old 280 Boogie event website,

The annual Spring ‘Old 280’ Boogie started 18 years ago on the one year anniversary of state Highway 280 opening-up and routing around our little town. This one-day spring gathering is set on the creative grounds of Standard Deluxe Inc. renowned for its cool and hospitable Southern ambiance.”

The boogie will be held Saturday April 19th, and honestly, the lineup looks awesome featuring Cedric Burnside, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Ben Sollee & Friends, Liz Brasher, The Pine Hill Haints, and Young Valley. Bands from previous years include Alabama Shakes, Jason Isbell, Lonnie Holley Band, Heath Green & the Makeshifters, and so many more!

But it’s not just Alabama Sawyer that thinks the Old 280 Boogie is great, Garden & Gun had great things to say about it too, “Part music festival, part yard-party, this BYOB event draws fans twice a year to tiny Waverly. Also called the Waverly Boogie, its spring installment has been going strong for seventeen years, and organizer Scott Peek added the Fall Boogie in 2012. Music runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with as many as six bands.”

So what are you waiting for? Go to their website and buy a ticket! 

SOURCES & FURTHER READING

This Is Alabama | Southern hospitality and one heck of a party in Waverly, Alabama

Garden & Gun | Your Guide to Summer Music Fests

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5 Birmingham Associations & Organizations We Love

March 26, 2019

5 Birmingham Associations & Organizations We Love

1) If you've never listened to 90.3 WBHM, then you're really missing out. They deliver high quality news broadcasting on topics ranging from the arts to science & technology. We love supporting them, even if that support goes out in the form of simply tuning in and paying attention. But we also like to give them money, and you should too.

2) According to its description on Google, Red Mountain Park is a "1,500-acre park with 15 miles of scenic trails, historic mines, zip lines, tree house & a dog park." Speaking of hiking, there's nothing better than hiking a Red Mountain trail with loved ones. For me "loved ones" refers to my framed picture of Frances McDormand bench pressing a grizzly bear.

Red Mountain Park Trail Map

3) The first time I visited the Birmingham Zoo, I got to bottle feed a koala. Then I got pooped on by some birds at the Aviary. Needless to say it was the best day of my life. On a completely different note, Alabama Sawyer has made a bunch of different stools for the Birmingham Zoo, so be sure to check them out the next time you visit!

Birmingham Zoo

4) The Birmingham Museum of Art is a great place to visit if you get the chanceI know I know. You might hate museums because you think they're boring. That was my position on museums before I ever visited one, the BMA being the first. Honestly, they've had some pretty great exhibits and pieces on display over the years. And I'm not just saying that because they've exhibited some of our furniture before. No, I've liked visiting the BMA long before I started working here. 

 

5) Here is a description of Workshops, Inc. taken directly from their website, "Workshops, Inc. provides outsourcing solutions for local businesses. All outsourced handwork is completed by people with disabilities and other barriers to employment who are striving for their highest vocational potential." We've worked with Workshops, Inc. in the past, and would love to work with them again. 

 

Sources & Further Reading

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"More Cities Stop Recycling. They Can't Afford It." - New York Times

March 26, 2019

"More Cities Stop Recycling. They Can't Afford It." - New York Times

Michael Corkery of the New York Times recently published an article on the growing number of cities around the U.S. that are halting their recycling programs. According to the article, China (a big buyer of U.S. recyclable material) reduced spending after it was determined that far too much trash was getting mixed in with the recyclables. This has prompted an increase in the cost it takes to recycle, and the subsequent closing of many recycling centers around the U.S.

Something really cool about this piece is that the online version links to an article which lists six items that are commonly put into recycling bins by mistake. If your city still has an affordable recycling program, that's great! Just make sure you're not recycling non recyclable materials.

That said, one thing about the article is certain, there's a need for more innovative and lasting recycling solutions.

   

Sources Cited

“Plastic Bottles Bottles Recycling.” PICRYL- The World's Largest Public Domain Source, 19 Mar. 2019, picryl.com/media/plastic-bottles-bottles-recycling-736da0. 

Corkery, Michael. “As Costs Skyrocket, More U.S. Cities Stop Recycling.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 Mar. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/03/16/business/local-recycling-costs.html.

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