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Is Wood Sustainable?


Most people know wood as a versatile material for construction or furniture.

But many of us don’t know wood is also a superb environmental material.

As a green building material, wood is recyclable and renewable. It can be reused and reproduced into many products.

What’s more, sustainability is another advantage of wood.

Is Wood Sustainable?

Wood is a sustainable and eco-friendly material.

The fact is wood is not only sustainable but also recyclable. Abandoned recyclable wood can be made into wooden products

Before we talk about the sustainability of wood, to make things clear, let’s see how we define the word ‘sustainable’ first.

What does sustainability truly mean?

According to the ecological definition of sustainability that was made by the Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report that was published in 1987.

It defined that sustainable development is one that will not affect the future environment and conditions but can satisfy the needs of the present.

To decide if something is sustainable, we can see it in two aspects:

1. Is Wood Renewable?

As we’ve mentioned in the very first beginning, wood is recyclable and renewable.

We all know that tree is a natural plant that grows fast and strong.

There are statistics that 4 billion to 7 billion trees are cut down each year. And meanwhile, there are over 1.6 billion trees are planted in America.

That is a huge number, so people may think that our forest resources are plenty to consume.

However, many people have ignored the fact that although wood is a renewable resource, it needs time to grow.

To reach a fully grown condition, trees usually need 4 – 40 years to grow based on their species.

That is a long time, and during the time, billions of trees are cut and used. That’s why we need to plant many more trees than we cut down every year.

Indeed, wood is renewable and recyclable. But that’s not a short time process.

2. Is Wood Material Good For Environment?

Yes, raw or natural wood will not do harm to our environment unless it has been treated.

Wood is not poisonous and does not have any detrimental substances released when growing.

Trees will release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, it’s like the lung of earth. That’s why environmentalists always love to have wood products in their homes to store carbon.

After trees and lumbers are produced into wooden products, the waste will be eliminated virtually and naturally.

Moreover, waste bark and trims are great sources of heat energy, which will mitigate the pressure of energy consumption and efficiency.

Tree barks are even edible for wild explorers.

There are 2 important reasons why wood is sustainable and green.

1. Wood costs less

As a building material, steel costs about much more higher than wood.

There was an example of building a steel-framed house and building a wood-framed house.

What shocked people is that the material fee for buying the steel material is 44% higher than buying wood.

2. Wood is more eco-friendly

In terms of air pollution and water pollution, wood is the best material for our environment.

As a natural material, wood emits less pollution and save more energy than steel and concrete.

Steel consumes 12% more energy and emits more 15% greenhouse gases than wood. While concrete is worse that it consumes 20% more energy and emit 30% more greenhouse gases.

When it comes to pollutants, it’s sad to see that steel and concrete release 10% more pollutants into the air and over 250% more water pollutant wood.

That is a shocking number.

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