Wood, The Environmentally Friendly Choice For Any Household Or Workplace
One thing is clear, reducing our carbon footprint appears to be an important topic across the country. From The Guardian reporting on how to eat with a low carbon footprint, to high street chain Marks & Spencer’s going carbon neutral, everyone is making greener choices to help protect our environment.
Did you know that the choice of material you use in your home or workplace can have a real impact on its overall carbon footprint? In fact, there is a growing trend in architects and builders who are choosing timber as their main material, because of its positive impact on our environment and ease of construction.
Together with A Wood Idea we investigate further on why wood is the environmentally friendly material of choice, for both home and business owners:
⦁ Wood is a renewable material
Known to be one of the most naturally renewable energy sources and readily available, wood will have less of an impact on the environment around us compared to other materials. According to the British Woodworking Federation, over 90% of wood we use is from forests in Europe, which are growing by 661,000 hectares each year.
⦁ Wooden products last longer
How long wood lasts depends on several things, such as the type of wood, the location of the product (interior or exterior environments) and the treatment that has been applied to it. Wood is also lightweight, strong and durable. If you are looking for the most durable wood, use hardwood, which can last over 100 years if treated correctly.
It is beneficial to use wood that lasts longer, because less energy is used on making new products, making it better for our environment. You will be reducing your carbon footprint dramatically.
⦁ Wood retains heat
The cellular makeup of wood means it naturally retains more heat compared to other materials – in fact, it holds heat seven times more effectively than ceramic tiles. Air chambers in wood absorb heat, holding it for longer. By introducing wood into your premises, you can make a difference to the environment while having a naturally warmer home. Using wood to heat your home is kinder to the planet because less energy will be needed.
⦁ Wooden products are easy to recycle and reuse
If wood is protected and maintained properly, it will last for 100 years, giving you the opportunity to adapt it or refinish it whenever you like. Choose wooden furniture and you will notice how easy it is to transform into a new piece by upcycling, painting and re-treating.
⦁ Wood absorbs carbon dioxide
As wood supplies grow across the world, trees absorb carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, lowering the overall carbon footprint of the material. Known as a ‘carbon sink’, one cubic metre of new wood removes just less than a tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere. Trees are usually harvested when they reach maturity and stop absorbing carbon.
In addition, wood is a ‘carbon store’, meaning that once it has absorbed the carbon, it is stored there and out of the atmosphere.
⦁ Waste from wooden materials production is limited, and 100% biodegradable
Because there is very little waste when wooden products are made, it has never been easier to reduce your carbon footprint. Whether you have floorboards, furniture, doors, or something else, any residual chippings can be burned as an energy source, or used as sawdust during manufacture.
The limited amount of waste from manufacturing wooden products is also 100% biodegradable, so the material will gradually decompose, disintegrate and break down back into the earth. With no residual landfill left in the earth’s atmosphere, wood is definitely better for the environment.
⦁ Wood can have a positive psychological impact on people
Wood can provide benefits to mental and physical health. By increasing the amount of wooden materials in your home or workplace, you can reduce the amount of manmade substances, and potentially harmful chemicals, in the environment. According to a report by Timber and Design Online, the introduction of wood to interiors has a stress-reducing effect, therefore improving the wellbeing of family or colleagues.