How To Find Environmentally Friendly / Sustainable Timber and Wood

I think that it would surprise a lot of people to find out that timber can be one of your most environmentally friendly options when it comes to construction materials.

Sustainably harvested timber, when compared to other building materials, has a very small carbon footprint. When done sustainably the tree farms are also a natural part of the carbon cycle, absorbing carbon dioxide from the air. It also takes a lot less energy to create building material from timber than it does from other manufactured building products.

I say “can be” because it depends on where the timber comes from and how the trees are harvested and the forests managed. There were many times driving through Australia that we would see tree farms along the sides of the road. These forests are managed to provide a renewable source of timber. I can also remember as a child driving through the Canadian Rocky Mountains and seeing huge swaths of land completely clear cut of all the trees. I can’t say if there was going to be replanting, but from a child’s perspective it appeared awfully bleak.

Forestry management has obviously improved a lot in the last 25 years since I remember seeing those clear cut forests (that makes me feel really old) . Now if someone is going to school for forestry (Natural Resource Management, which I had looked at doing before joining YWAM as a full-time volunteer missionary) chances are pretty good they are looking at studying forestry management and sustainable practices.

Here is a list of organizations that certify if timber has been harvested in a sustainable way:

By purchasing timber that has been certified you are helping to ensure that you are using a sustainable product that will not have a negative impact on the environment.

It is still estimated that about 30% or hardwood products imported into the US are from suspicious or illegal sources. In some countries it is estimated that up to 90% of logging is done illegally. These methods are not sustainable and contribute to the deforestation of areas like the Amazon basin and Indonesia.

Source Articles:

Taxpayers to Pay $50m for Foil Insulation Stuff Up

Since I wrote about some of the problems that the Free Insulation Scheme that the Australia Government has been having they have cancelled the plan and are now footing the tax payers with a $50 million clean up bill.

According to an article in the Australian the scheme has been linked to 105 house fires and four deaths. There were apparently 1.1 million homes insulated under the scheme, and as many as 240,000 roofs are feared to have safety or quality problems.

There are about 50,000 homes that have had foil insulation installed. Improperly installed foil insulation has been linked to all four deaths, and most of the house fires from what I have read. The homes that have had the foil insulation installed have the option of having the insulation removed, or getting an electrical safety switch installed.

Despite stuffing the first insulation scheme up the government is now looking at trying to run another scheme. Home owners who have to get their insulation removed because it wasn’t right the first time, and people who didn’t take advantage of the first failed scheme, will be able to apply for the new scheme in June.


New Comment Feature Added

I’ve gone and added a new plugin to the site called CommentLuv. It looks like a pretty cool little plugin as if you make a comment on the site it will check your blog and try to pull in the last story that you have written. It will then include a link to the story under your comment.

I haven’t seen it working yet on this site, so if you want to try it out then write a comment below, make sure that there is a check mark in the box next to “CommentLuv Enabled” and we can see how it works …