‘Wood’ You Believe?
“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” cries Chicken Little in the ever-popular folk tale where an acorn hits Chicken Little on the head. She instills her fear in the minds of her friends as they race to tell the king. Most versions of this tale end with the worried fowl running straight into Foxy Loxy’s den, never to emerge.
How often have you heard "reducing paper and lumber use will save forests”? Obviously, if we use less paper and lumber, fewer trees will fall. But, despite what the flock may think, that is not the best plan! Nor is it the approach sustainable forest managers use. Continued...
(This video is a great illustration of the problem and solution)
Indeed, Greenpeace co-founder and forest ecologist, Patrick Moore, Ph.D. says, “The claim that using wood somehow leads to forest loss is backwards and silly. Every time we use wood—every time we buy a 2x4 at a lumberyard or a ream of paper at an office supply store—we are in fact ordering up new trees for planting in forests. It is precisely because we use so much wood that we have so much forest.”
U.S. Forest Service researcher, Peter J. Ince agrees, “In general, the data shows that global regions with the highest levels of industrial timber harvest and forest product output are also regions with the lowest rates of deforestation.”
70% of US forests are privately owned, and 90% of the wood harvested in the US is from these private forests. It’s in the planet’s best interest to keep that land as forests for all the environmental benefits they provide, but if America’s private landowners can’t make money as tree farmers, many will sell the land for development or remove the trees and use their land for pasture or crops.
Trees draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, but forests left to decay release carbon back into the atmosphere. And, if a tree is turned into lumber, that carbon remains locked in the wood!
So, you can feel good printing this email if you want to show it to someone who may not know that it’s actually advantageous to use paper and lumber. Of course, you should recycle it afterwards because it's always best to give lumber and paper the longest life cycle possible. ■
Environmentally Safe Synthetics
As the above article makes clear, when wood products are made from managed forests, it's a win-win-win for consumer, environment, and forest. Plus, there are many uses where nothing can replace real wood for its sheer beauty!
On the other hand, many of our products benefit from being made of synthetic materials due to less maintenance and hence, a lower cost of ownership over time.
For example, Gregory (one of our owners - see sidebar) didn't hesitate to use our AZEK Porch Boards when it came time to replace his farmhouse porch floors. (View project video)
He knew doing so meant an end to frequent painting and periodic repair and replacement. And he also knew most visitors to his home would not know his new floors were not wood. It's really that good!
You see, each synthetic material we sell must pass our "looks like, sounds like, feels like, cuts like real wood" test because we don't want plastic-looking "fake" wood products on our own homes, and assume you don't either!
AZEK Porch Boards is a perfect example because it will last indefinitely, never needs painting, is impervious to insect and moisture damage, and looks like painted wood flooring, right down to the small crack between each pair of boards.
Not only that, but it's an environmentally "green" product! AZEK says, "Cellular PVC is the most energy efficient major plastic. Its principle raw material is chlorine derived from common salt, an abundant and inexpensive resource. Cellular PVC is comparatively low in energy and resource use during production, as well as in conversion to finished products. All scrap generated during the initial manufacturing process is recycled back into the finished product. Additionally, PVC can be recycled at the end of its long, useful life."
Likewise, the Polyurethane from which many of our products are made minimalizes its environmental impact because it is:
● Chemically stable, non-reactive, and doesn't contain ozone depleting compounds like CFCs or HCFCs
● Free of toxic gas emissions
● Finished with water-based paint that exceeds government VOC regulations, reducing the greenhouse effect
● Manufactured using recycled waste materials from within the process
● Manufactured with post-consumer content, thereby reducing landfill requirements.
Use any of our products made with synthetic materials with confidence while you enjoy their long-term, low maintenance advantages and appreciate their authentic appearance for many years into the future. ■
From the Owners...
As you might guess from the second article below, Holly and I are really enjoying our new AZEK Porch floor. In fact, just this past weekend we were discussing how nice it was to be working in the garden this year without feeling guilty that the porch floors needed repainting. It's even nicer to know we will never repaint them again... Ever!
While I'm on this topic, I’d like you to remember what I forgot. This past summer, after replacing our wood porch floors with AZEK, we kept using our old door mats. Unfortunately, 2 were rubber-backed. We knew better!
Our website warns, "Rubber- backed door mats, tarps, pool toys, and other non-porous items left on the deck for an extended period of time can transfer excessive heat to your Porch or Deck Boards and may cause discoloration of the surface." Oops... That's what happened! No damage, just discoloration in the area beneath the mat.
Fortunately, only the mat on the back porch, exposed to direct afternoon sun, had a problem. But, since it was a small mat, it was easy to replace it with a larger, natural fiber one.
So now you know... Do as we say, not as I did!
Photo of the Month
A New Hampshire customer used our synthetic products to create the lovely, super low- maintenance porch above.
Email photos of our products in use for possible inclusion in a future newsletter or at our website!
What We're Doing...
We love celebrating Earth Day, but here are some of the things we do all year long:
● Use only lumber from sustainable forests
● Do not use chemically or pressure-treated lumber
● Reuse incoming packaging material and pallets
● Cut used office paper into quarters for note paper before finally recycling
● Recycle all post-consumer materials accepted at our local facilities
● Produce efficiently to keep scrap to an absolute minimum
● Donate our sawdust and shavings to a local horse ranch for bedding which they ultimately compost and spread on their fields
● Adjust our summer work schedule to minimize air conditioning during hot Texas summers
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you
as sunshine flows
into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you,
and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves
- John Muir
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