4 Eco-Friendly Woods to Incorporate Into Your Interiors

June 3, 2016
eco friendly wood

Wood has long been a favorable material in design, for its timeless appearance is backed by strength and lightweight durability. However, it has come to attention that the standard practice of wood harvesting is causing rapid destruction to our forests and their ecosystem.

Because wood offers such a classic feel to the home, it is difficult to picture interior design without. Fortunately, earth friendly alternatives have become more prevalent in recent years, making eco-friendly woods more mainstream and therefore more obtainable. Here we’ve mapped out four top eco-friendly woods to consider for your next interior project.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood has become increasingly popular over the years for its rustic aesthetic. Wood from old buildings, structures, and landfills offer incredible width and a compelling history that mass manufactured wood cannot provide.

In regards to the environment, using recycled materials is unquestionably beneficial. Using reclaimed wood reduces the rate of deforestation, the waste of processing and manufacturing, and emission of pollution during transport.

In a design aspect, reclaimed wood offers unique character to your interior. Distinguishing grooves, knots, and color variation tell a story of a past life, giving your room an inimitable flair.

Mango Wood

Mango wood is a relatively new material to eco-friendly interiors. Mango trees are fast growing, but are difficult to harvest as the height reaches near 100 ft. Due to this, the mango tree is cut down once the lifespan of the fruit is over. Approximately 30 million metric tons of mangoes are harvested each year, yielding a large amount of trees in the wake.

Mango wood is an prime example of industrial by-product reuse. Make sure to look for a ‘certified sustainable’ seal when you are looking to purchase this or any other eco friendly wood.

Bamboo

Technically not a wood but a grass, bamboo has often been cited as one of the most eco friendly materials due to its rapid rate of regrowth and carbon neutrality. Bamboo wood is durable and has an appealing grain ideal for flooring or furniture.

Sustainable Wood

Sustainable wood is that which comes from a moderated forest. In usual cases, forests are clearcut, creating a barren stretch of land. In its place, a single species tree farm is re-planted for future harvest. This practice has rapidly diminished millions of natural acres of forests, endangering species of tree and animal life.

Sustainable forests are managed to prevent deforestation. Only selected trees are removed and a variety of tree species are left to flourish as nature intended. Foresters wait approximately 30 years before returning to harvest, compared to the seven - ten year wait time for non-sustainable lumber.

This eco-friendly wood is helping to slow the rapid rate of deforestation. Look for products that have approved labels by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Rainforest Alliance, or Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) to make sure your purchase is certified sustainable.

Things to look for:
  • Buy Durable

With innumerable options for easily accessible, cheap furniture, the industry is transforming into that of fast fashion: something to buy for a season and then toss away. Consider furniture as an investment, if only for the environment! Buying long-standing, timeless pieces will reduce the amount of product in landfills and limit manufacturing waste. Your wallet will thank you, too, as smaller purchases add up quickly.

If new furniture is not in the budget, go vintage! Make a day to visit all your local thrift shops and hunt for a gem.

  • Buy Local

Buying for local manufacturers reduces the byproduct of transportation, which can be directly related to climatic change. You’ll be supporting the local economy too, which stimulates economic growth in your area.