Eco-friendly lumber is nothing new. Many environmental groups have been pushing sustainably logged wood for years, and even the UN has been urging countries to create sustainable forestry jobs. Not only will it save the environment, but it will also create a million new jobs and greatly help the development of countries like China and India [Source: CNN]. However, some logging companies are looking to decrease their carbon footprint even more nd find ways that they don’t have to cut down any new growth.
Logging companies like TerraMia and Will Branch Antique Lumber offer only reclaimed lumber to their clients. Reclaimed lumber is wood harvested from old houses/buildings that are then reused to create new buildings, floorings or furniture. Many companies turned to reclaimed wood since much of the lumber created in the past came from old-growth trees and are therefore hardier/sturdier than the lumber today. Of course, reusing wood is eco-friendly as loggers do not have to cut down new trees to create lumber [Source: Pieces Zine]. The growing popularity of reclaimed lumber isn’t just because of environmental reasons, it also creates a very unique feel. Since each piece of lumber is aged differently and from a different source, no two are alike. It’s great for people looking to stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, reclaimed wood is not always cost-effective and ends up costing people more than regular lumber. Collection of lumber from an old building is a labor-intensive process and requires attention to detail in order to get the best quality lumber (without scratches, dents or nails) [Source: Reclaimed Lumber].
There are other companies that collect dead growth or wind-toppled trees in order to create lumber. Because no new trees are killed, many companies view this as more environmentally-friendly than regular lumber, however environmentalists such as Andrew Cowan state that the decaying trees create a new ecosystem. These “special habitats” also contribute to the natural cycle of their environment [Source: Decaying Wood: Recycling Within Arboreal Ecosystems].
With these sustainable practices, we can still have lovely wood flooring and furniture and still save the environment. More and more logging companies are looking to a more eco-friendly approach to lumber.