Being green with wood

Wood often makes for a wonderful material in all sorts of spaces. We have been using it for ages. Yet with an increased focus on ecology and green life, we have to wonder about how we’re using wood and whether we should use wood at all.

The Telegraph notes the use of wood in Britain as an area that is problematic.

“’The amount of wood that goes to waste in this country is criminal, shocking. If people knew the truth they would be outraged,’ says Paul [Page]. Every day, hundreds of tons of good-quality, untreated pine, oak, cedar and other wood are chucked away, mostly by the construction, demolition and packaging industries. Annually we throw away about 4.6 million tons of wood, and while some of it is low grade, paint or chemically treated and good for little, nearly 1.5 million tons is clean, solid, untreated wood, according to a recent Government report.”

Wood has had multiple uses throughout history and we’ve long found various uses for it. As Forest Education notes: “Nomadic humans used wood for constructing shelters when caves or rock overhangs were not available.  Post-and-beam or timber framing has been around for about two thousand years.”

Whether it’s timber decking, furniture, or other homeware, “timber has been an integral part of human life,” says Forest Education. They continue:

“Not only has timber been used for building and furniture but it was also critical in the exploration of the world (carts, sleds and wooden ships); it was fundamental in the development of railways (sleepers and bridges); and it is fundamental in the culture of societies (musical instruments for example). As processing technologies have developed, the range of timber products has increased, as has our ability to alter the properties of timber to meet a range of environmental situations.”

UPM Timber highlights the various good reasons to invest in wood: it’s a renewable, natural resource; wood productions barely produces waste and requires little energy; it’s re-usable; and it even makes for better air!

Wood, in both its uses and production is a good focus for those of who care about the environment.