Itís virtually impossible to build anything without wood. Houses, furniture, flooring, even the tools used to craft other items are made partially from wood. But as accustomed as we are to seeing trees everywhere, we need to remember that our forests canít always keep up with our demand for wood. Therefore, using sustainable wood is important. Sustainable wood ensures that we can keep building, the forests will keep growing and our furry woodland creature friends and the overall environment stays in balance.
What Is Sustainable Wood?
Sustainable wood is wood that is grown primarily for consumption. In other words, the trees are grown so they can be used to build things. The Forest Stewardship Council oversees 100 million acres of forest in the United States and Canada to ensure they are managed to its environmental and social standards. For example, as trees are consumed additional trees are planted, so there is a continuous supply of trees without disturbing the natural forest. This has helped cut down on the problem of deforestation. Thatís a good thing, since less trees means less oxygen, more carbon dioxide and polluted waterways from soil erosion, none of which bodes well for any living creature, great or small.
What Kind of Wood is Sustainable?
Any wood could become sustainable, but the FSC concentrates on the major trees that produce the most popular woods in manufacturing, of which there are five: Ash, black cherry, mahogany, maple and oak . Weíve listed a bit about each wood below including their most popular uses.
How to Know if the Wood is Sustainable Wood
With a natural hue ranges from a pale white to a buttery yellow, white ash is especially popular in the production of sports equipment. Baseball bats, pool cues, and hockey sticks are crafted from this wood. Another popular use for white ash is handles. Shovels, hand tools and handles on knives or other carving tools are often made from white ash.
Because of its rich cherry red finish, black cherry can be found in several places in a home, from the floor to the cabinets. Itís used to create rich looking furniture and paneling, doors and trim and itís also one of the more favored choices for the makers of Martin guitars.
This wood has two distinct colors, brown and red. Both are used for furniture such as dining room sets and tables, but red mahogany is also used as decking around pools and hot tubs because it is water and moisture resistant. The brown has a deep chocolate hue, while the red takes on a merlot color.
Maple is the everymanís wood. Itís useful for practically any building need. Paneling, flooring, doors, trim or furniture, this medium brown to dark brown wood can be used to craft practically anything.
Like maple, oak is also a popular wood for woodworkers and builders alike. There are several hues of oak and even the natural color can be tweaked with the right stain, so the possibilities for your projects are almost endless.
Wood that is produced in a sustainable forest carries the label from the FSC. If you see that label, you can be sure the forest where the wood came from is being replenished.
Using sustainable wood is just a smart thing to do. We sometimes donít realize how dependent we are on trees for our very survival. If we want to keep thriving, then trees need to thrive as well. Sustainable wood allows us to keep building and keep living. Itís a win-win for everyone.