Education is a universal issue. Bridgitte Alomes, the founder and CEO of Natural Pod, has her own approach to learning. She created an idea book designed for Indigenous learners. Her idea blends creative learning, play-based curriculums and Indigenous teaching philosophies.

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Two students sit on a wood bench inside a classrom. One student is holding a blue book.

The “Indigenous Learners Ideabook” has solutions for creative learning environments using natural, sustainably harvested wood furniture. In Alomes’s words, “sustainability is built into everything we do.”

Related: Heirloom Design provides furniture that may never see a landfill

When Alomes’s son had a bad reaction to the environment where he was learning, she started to think about the materials inside classrooms. What are the potential risks to children learning in environments filled with manufactured, heavily processed items and potentially outdated building practices? What’s in the paint on the walls? What are the desks where your child sits made of? What chemicals are used to clean these buildings? There are a lot of factors that go into creating a learning environment. Once you start asking questions about that environment, the answers can get a little scary.

Two students sit on wood benches on either side of a wood table, playing a game.

This is how Natural Pod began. Alomes started Natural Pod to create natural furniture specifically made for learning environments. The furniture is designed with children in mind. Based in British Columbia, Canada, Natural Pod furniture is made with natural wood. All the wood comes from trees harvested using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified source material. Natural Pod’s products are also all ethically manufactured and made with soy-based adhesives and non-toxic varnishes.

A classroom with wood furniture where a student sits reading.

The entire process is geared toward sustainable construction and eco-responsibility. Products are made to order, not as a mass production. They’re also packed in custom-built crates so orders can be flat-packed. This helps Natural Pod minimize waste.

A classroom with three students sitting on wood furniture.

The brand focuses on grades K-12, as well as school principals, teachers and district leaders. During the pandemic, Natural Pod also consulted with schools to help reconfigure learning environments.

+ Natural Pod

Images via Natural Pod