11 Jun 2015

In the world we live in today, with excessive carbon production caused by fossil fuels and the burning of gas contributing to the greenhouse effect, it is more important than ever to limit and control each and everyone’s impact on the environment. Whilst it may seem counterintuitive to suggest that wooden products, such as timber doors, window frames or any product produced from timber are environmentally friendly, the truth is that it is a lot safer for our planet to use timber products over nasty plastics, like uPvc.


Unlike uPvc, timber is a wholly renewable resource. The main problem with plastics used for construction purposes like uPvc, which stands for unplasticised polyvinyl chloride, is that it is produced from oil. Oil, as I am sure you are aware, is a non-renewable resource – once we run out, we run out. While there is therefore effectively a limited supply of oil and thus the plastics that can be produced, timber is a resource that is wholly renewable – it will not run out. In fact, European softwood forests are currently growing at a staggering rate of 250 million m3 every year! What difference does this make for the average consumer? Well, it makes it so that you can sleep soundly knowing that any timber product purchased by you is not wasting resources or, in the case of oil based products, damaging the ecosystems in which drilling occurs.


In fact, the growing of timber forests actually counteracts the effects of global warming! As trees grow they take in carbon dioxide, which is the most impactful of the greenhouse gases, which contributes to global warming, and give out oxygen. The net gain of oxygen means that the growing of forests reduces carbon dioxide and locks it safely inside the wood. Every timber product that has been purchased, such as doors, window frames or even construction beams, has actually absorbed carbon dioxide, preventing it from returning to the atmosphere and damaging our planet. The more timber products are grown, the better the effect on our planet.


One of the great things about timber is that there is little to no wastage. Most of the types of trees grown to make timber, such as the European redwood tree, grow extremely straight, so there are little to no branches or twigs that go to waste. Furthermore, since these trees grow straight without taking up a lot of space, more can be grown in the same area. Effectively, all the environmental benefits of growing timber are multiplied, as forests can hold and sustain a greater volume of trees.


Any wood that would go to waste can be reused to create pulp for paper or even chipboards, so that no part of the wood goes to waste. Even if the wood is burned to create energy or for your own fireplace, the process is effectively carbon neutral, since only carbon dioxide that has been absorbed by the young tree is rereleased. But one of the best things about timber products is that, even after years of use, the wood can be reused in other wood products or even biodegraded. Even if you decide to replace your timber product, no wood is wasted and there is no harm to the environment.


Timber is, in fact, the only renewable resource used in modern construction. Every timber product used is actively helping protect the environment, by offsetting carbon emissions and the little amount of waste makes certain that the environment is treated with the respect it deserves. Purchasing timber is not just a good decision for you; it’s a good decision for the planet.

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