Making Green Choices When Buying Wood Products for Your Home

Sustainable wood

Wood is a beautiful material whether it’s furniture, wood accents or flooring. Wood creates a calm and organic ambiance in the home, and it’s universal. You can find wood that fits into any style. Wood is also one of the more sustainable materials that we can use, but some wood products are better than others. Here is how to make green choices when buying wood products.

Choosing the most sustainable wood

Being a responsible consumer means understanding which materials are the most environmentally friendly and sustainable. Wood is very sustainable, but we have to be careful when buying wood products. Some species are more durable than others. One of the most significant steps in going green is “Think Globally, Act Locally.” Shopping for local wood, buying from local mills, is going to make your wood products much more sustainable.

Locally sourced wood

When you shop locally for wood, you have a better chance of understanding the chain of production. Not only are you reducing the carbon footprint by buying something that was sourced locally and did not have to be transported great distances, but you can check to make sure that the wood is responsibly sourced. You can check first hand to make sure that the wood you purchase comes from sustainably managed forests. If the wood is a renewable resource, you need to make sure that the wood you buy is being renewed.

Reclaimed wood
Reclaimed wood is a green consumer choice.

Sustainably managed forest

There is some misconception about the difference between being able to plant a new tree, and being able to sustain and maintain the forest. A tree can be renewed, but a forest can’t. A forest is a whole ecosystem, home to much more than just trees. Managing the forest means that you protect the integrity of the ecosystem and all the living things that rely on this ecosystem. When you remove a tree from the forest, there will be a ripple effect on the entire ecosystem.

Salvaged wood

In every forest, a tree must fall. Trees also get sick or damaged. Salvaged wood comes from trees that have fallen in a storm or due to a natural phenomenon, or trees that have to be cut down due to disease or bug infestation. Much of this wood can be salvaged with little environmental impact and used for beautiful home decor.

Reclaimed wood

You can also feel good about buying products created from reclaimed wood. With reclaimed wood, you eliminate the need to go back and source new wood, but take wood from torn down development and construction sites to repurpose into furniture and other things. There is already so much wood out there that is perfectly good; we don’t need to go back to the forest for more wood.

Endangered species

Some species of wood are endangered because they cannot be renewed quick enough to keep up with logging and demand. Make sure that the species you choose is not threatened. Exotic species may be luxurious and aesthetically unique, but the planet should come before physical beauty.

By making green choices, you are protecting our natural resources and creating less waste. Understand the origin of the product you buy to make responsible choices.

Sunrise Sanitation provides recycling and trash services to West Virginia and Maryland. 

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