ECO-FRIENDLY SOLID WOOD FURNITURE
American-grown wood from sustainable Northeast forests, whether used for furniture or large scale construction, is an environmentally friendly material. Other modern construction materials generate more pollution to manufacture and assemble while consuming more energy and non-renewable natural resources. On the other hand, wood is a biodegradable, recyclable and durable material –when properly cared for wood furniture can last for centuries. Our American wood is eco friendly as it grows in forests of the Northeast, which are on the whole very healthy, exhibiting high natural bio-diversity and providing habitats for many species. The average age of American hardwood forests is also growing older in, another sign of healthy forests.
A lot of cheap wood furniture is produced using lumber harvested (sometimes illegally) from forests that are not healthy at all. At Manchester Wood, we use American hardwoods, such as white ash and soft maple, to produce all of our premier-quality wood furniture and accessories because we believe in caring for our environment. Our green wood furniture is built from wood that is a renewable, abundant and sustainable. Six trees are planted for every one harvested in the U.S. Furthermore, hardwood trees regenerate naturally. Sustainable forestry practices encourage and promote this natural cycle. Even though the population has grown over 165 percent since 1920, the U.S. has approximately the same amount of forestland now as it did then. Currently, growth exceeds harvest by 47 percent. If hardwood trees suddenly stopped growing, we would have enough hardwood timber to last us 75 years at the present rate of consumption.
Perhaps the primary reason that American hardwoods are sustainable source of material for eco friendly furniture design and manufacturing is the fact that timber is a sustainable resource. Trained foresters use green techniques to determine when wood should be harvested to keep forests healthy and productive. Sustainable manufacturing practices center include minimizing waste wood and re-using byproducts i.e. bark becomes mulch and trimmings are processed into paper. Wood manufacturers are continually improving the yields of finished furniture or other products from each tree through improvements in technology and technique; a tree felled today will make more desks than it did 20 years ago. These sustainable practices preserve our natural resources for future generations and keep our planet green and healthy.
Favorable growing conditions across much of the U.S. including the Northeast mean that its hardwood forests are most effectively sustained through natural regeneration. Hardwood trees reproduce themselves naturally either by seedlings or sprouts from roots and stumps. Foresters practice eco friendly techniques to work in step with nature’s cycle, thereby ensuring a sustainable supply of timber for wood products. A good example of such techniques is selective harvesting. Instead of clear-cutting width patches of land, specific trees or small groups of trees are designated for harvest to minimize the impact on the environment. Single tree harvesting mimics nature, where single trees or small groups of trees die and fall, or are blown down by strong winds. Such harvesting practices encourage new timber growth and biodiversity. Eco friendly harvesting techniques help forests to regenerate and renew themselves – and their supply of wood – naturally. All of our furniture is made from wood that has been certified as environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Green certification of the wood we use for our furniture is a relatively new development within the industry and standards are still evolving. Consequently, there are at least five eco friendly certification standards in use across North America: 1) American Tree Farm Systems, 2) Canadian Standards Association, 3) Forest Stewardship Council, 4) Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes and 5) Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Of these programs, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC - http://www.fsc.org/) and the Sustainability Forest Initiative (SFI - http://www.sfiprogram.org/) are the most widely used in determining whether wood is green and sustainable.
SFI and FSC certification does not differ too much on the three central issues of sustainable timber production: 1) chain of custody, 2) labeling of products and 3) use of non-certified wood in final products. Participants are required to have an auditable monitoring system for all flows of wood that they deal with or a chain of custody from harvest all the way to the manufacture of finished wood designs. Both systems use their own set of labels to identify wood and wood products that adhere to their sustainable certification standards. These labels reflect the percentage of material from certified forests. Both the SFI and the FSC strictly prohibit the use of illegally harvested timber for use in certified products as illegal logging typically results in tremendous damage to the local ecosystem.
All of the lumber that we use at Manchester Wood for our furniture is SFI-certified. We take pride in doing our part for the environment. Certification systems are still developing and maturing; hence there are still questions that need to be answered and issues that need to be resolved. However, we firmly believe that by embracing lumber certification now we will facilitate this process. We look forward to the day when eco friendly lumber is the international standard for both the timber harvesting and wood manufacturing industries.
Manchester Wood has a close link with our natural environment due to the nature of our work. We make our wood furniture as green as possible by using lumber from sustainable Northeast hardwood forests and adhering to eco friendly manufacturing techniques whether we are making a desk for the office or an accent table for the home. The growing use of certification standards in America that are defined by organizations such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative means that there is a steadily supply of green or eco friendly timber for the manufacture of wood products and we are proud to manufacture all of our furniture and accessories from eco friendly wood that is grown and harvested in accordance with SFI-certified standards. If you are looking for wood furniture and want to help take care of our environment, then please consider our home and office products. You won’t be disappointed!