Purchasing hardwood for your home is a big decision. Not only is it a huge investment that you’ll see every day for years to come, it’s a decision that can negatively impact the environment if you’re not careful. Homeowners have become increasingly aware of the sustainability of the wood going into their home in recent years. If you want to be sustainable but aren’t sure where to start, let’s review the basics of hardwood sustainability!
Why is Sustainability Important?
Much of the hardwood options for sale here in the US are actually harvested in different countries around the world. Buying unsustainable wood may not have a direct effect here, but it has a major impact where the wood originates from. Unsustainable wood is more likely to be linked to unfair labor laws, habitat destruction, environmental pollution, and more. Purchasing sustainable wood means purchasing wood that was grown and harvested in a way that causes minimal damage to animals, people, and the environment.
What Makes Certain Wood More Sustainable?
Wood that’s sustainable is harvested in a way that protects the land it was grown on. This means that new trees can be grown in place of the ones that were cut down. New trees give animals a new place to live and help remove carbon emissions from the air. Wood that’s unsustainably sourced is typically cut down with little regard for the land, animals, or environment. The baren land where trees once were will remain baren for years to come. Wood that’s sustainably sourced is cut down safely, new trees are replanted, and the area is maintained to ensure the new trees grow successfully. Sustainable wood harvesting also helps to avoid large barren areas where a forest used to be, so animals won’t be left stranded without a home.
Sustainable Hardwood Options
The most sustainable hardwood options are the ones that come from fast-growing trees. Trees like pine regrow quickly, so it’s easy to replenish the wood that’s been harvested. Woods that have a longer life expectancy can be considered sustainable too. For example, oak has a very long lifespan in hardwood floors. That means you won’t need to replace it for many years and you’ll be creating less waste than you would with a softer wood. Oak trees take longer to regrow, but with the right care and attention, it can be done sustainably. The most important factor in determining if hardwood is sustainable or not is how and where it was harvested, not necessarily what type of wood it is.
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