December 1st, 2008 by Peggy Farabaugh
If you're like most Americans, you'll be spending more time relaxing and enjoying your home during the coming months and years. It's a place where we can take refuge from a stressful world of economic instability and find solace and comfort in each other and in our soothing cocoon. Happily, we can report that one of the main elements of the growing green home design movement is wood. Natural, renewable, enduring and recyclable wood is coming back into vogue in the form of wood furniture, flooring, paneling, and architectural millwork such as fireplace mantles and molding.
Even as longtime wood advocates, we found it surprising to look at the statistics of how much more environmentally benign wood is when compared to other home building materials such as steel and concrete. Research shows that in terms of energy use, production of greenhouse gases, air and water pollution, production of solid waste and overall ecological resource, wood is up to 1900% greener than steel or concrete!
Amazing not just for its natural beauty, wood is also incredibly versatile in its ability to be carved, shaped, bent or molded into an endless variety of shapes and designs. And anyone who collects antiques knows that wood furniture, properly cared for, can last hundreds and even thousands of years.
When selecting wood for your home decor projects and furniture, be sure it has been sustainably harvested. Ask you vendor where the wood originated and if it has been green-certified by the Forest Stewardship Council FSC, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative SFI, the American Tree Farm System or equivalent.