In the past couple decades, many people have become immensely interested in sustainability. It’s important that we consider the ecological consequences of all of our actions. When it comes to new building construction, you might be curious: is wood sustainable as a building material? If you love the appearance of hardwood and care about the environment, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Wood IS Sustainable
Many people jump to the conclusion that wood is not sustainable. This is a misunderstanding. But we do understand why so many people feel this way. After all, the idea of trees being chopped down might not seem like something that’s good for the environment. But it’s better than you might think. Here’s why.
Reusing and recycling are two of the most essential tenets of sustainability. Hardwood easily lends itself to both of these. Just a quick google search for “recycled pallet ideas” can give you a good sense of what can be accomplished with a little bit of recycled wood. Even old hardwood floors can be recycled into all kinds of projects as well.
Just because your hardwood has served its primary purpose doesn’t mean it can’t serve a new one in the future. You should also take into consideration the fact that, if left in the elements, wood naturally decomposes. The same cannot be said of other building materials such as cement or brick.
Yes, trees grow slowly. But if you leave a portion of land alone, it will become a forest. Nature provides hardwood for us at an astounding rate. This is not to mention that some trees go far faster than people imagine. Some species, such as tuliptree and cottonwood (both of which are native to our area), can grow as quickly as six to twelve feet per year. In fact, the rate of new hardwood growth in the United States generally outpaces the demand for it.
Ethical harvesting of hardwood trees is certainly important. Conservation of our natural resources is essential too. But it most certainly can be done. Keep in mind that before hardwood trees are harvested for lumber, they provide valuable habitat for wildlife. In the same way, they provide for humans as well.
Also, consider just how durable wood is. Properly maintained, hardwood can last for decades, or even centuries. The abundance of historic wood in our area gives testament to this fact. This means that once harvested, it will serve its purpose for many years to come.
Whenever you’re ready to build or renovate a business, Mahogany Inc. has your back. Call us at 410-727-0334 with any questions and speak to one of our licensed professionals. To see examples of our work or to gain inspiration for your next project, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.