These days, we hear a lot of bad news about the environment, and that’s really not surprising. With overpopulation, pollution, land disturbances, deforestation and various natural disasters in our midst, the environment is changing for the worse.
That’s one major reason to make greener choices and look for ways to reduce your carbon footprint. If you’re planning on starting this by making changes in your home, check out these 10 reasons why many environmentalists choose furniture made of wood—and why you should, too.
It’s a Renewable Resource
Compared with other raw materials, wood is considered one of the most environmentally friendly options. It’s the only building material that can be made from carbon found in the air, as well as in rain and sunlight. It’s continuously renewable and replenishable.
Now, you may be wondering if it’s environmentally appropriate to cut down a few trees to make wooden furniture. The answer is yes, as long as you’re engaging in selective harvesting. Cutting down trees is also acceptable if new trees are planted to replace them.
It Creates Zero Waste
When wood is processed, all the byproducts produced can be reused and repurposed. For example, when you harvest wood, part of it is turned into lumber. Other parts are turned into different kinds of wood products, or they’re used for energy production. Despite all the stages of processing that wood goes through, none of it goes to waste!
It’s Good for Our Climate
Plants, like trees, are able to absorb carbon. They take it from the atmosphere and keep it in their stems as they continue to grow. When they’re processed into wood products, they continue to retain that carbon. Therefore, as this enables us to limit the release of carbon into the atmosphere, using wood for our furniture can help minimize the negative effects of climate change.
It Retains Heat Very Well
Believe it or not, wood is able to retain up to seven times more heat than ceramic tiles are able to. The air chambers inside each piece of wood absorb heat from the surrounding environment, and the retention of this heat will assist you in creating a warmer home without using much energy.
It Can Improve Your Health
Having more natural materials at home, such as wood, can reduce your stress and anxiety levels. This is because wood typically has the same stress-reducing effect as nature does. The feeling of being close to nature can make us feel much more calm and relaxed, so just imagine what an Amish bed made from 100 percent wood can do for your health!
Natural wood is known for being super-resilient, and it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. It can actually last for several years or more, due to refinishing—unlike engineered wood and wood laminate.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can expect your wood furniture to last if you don’t take care of it or consider its type. Remember, there are wood types that last longer than others. Applying certain treatments, such as staining solutions or conditioners, can also affect how long a wooden product will last.
Since wood may last a lifetime, it’s the perfect material for recycling. And by recycling and reusing wooden products, you’ll actually be limiting the immediate need for freshly-milled timber, so more trees will be able to be saved for future use.
It Can Potentially Increase Forest Cover
When there’s an increased demand for wood products that are responsibly sourced, this can help increase the number of properly managed plantations and forests, and turning marginal and cleared land into forests like this can offer additional benefits to the environment.
This is actually happening in different parts of the world. Europe, for example, has forests that have been expanding year after year.
It’s Naturally Beautiful
Wood, on its own, is already beautiful and visually appealing. Its natural look and feel enable it to blend with almost any decorative style or theme. You might even choose to create a house made of pure wood!
Apart from being visually attractive, wood also happens to be a super-tactile product. Since it’s so nice to touch, having it around the home can be an incredibly pleasant experience.
It Brings the Benefits of Nature Indoors
With the way people are living their lives these days, spending time outside isn’t always possible, so we often end up with little time to connect with nature.
Having wood furniture at home will allow us to experience the psychological and physiological benefits of being close to nature—without actually being outside. These benefits include enhanced air quality, lowered stress levels and an improved emotional state.
Similar to wood furniture, wood flooring can be an ideal choice for many of the same reasons. If you’re into the look of wood, but can’t decide whether to go with the natural or the engineered variety, this infographic offers an excellent comparison: