Go Green with Environmentally Friendly Wood in your Home

Going green is at the forefront of everyone’s minds — whether it’s the humble consumer, SME or a multinational business. For example, it was recently reported that McDonald’s would be phasing out plastic straws from UK restaurants, while The Guardian published a guide to eating with a low carbon footprint.

If becoming more environmentally considerate is top of your to-do list, have you considered using more wood in your home interiors? As a material with a low environmental impact, builders and architects are increasingly choosing wood over other options.

Explaining more about the many benefits of using wood in the home is A Wood Idea, a retailer of wooden doors, flooring and staircases:

  • A renewable material

Not only does wood look good in our homes, it’s one of the most naturally renewable energy sources, reducing the impact on the environment. In excess of 90% of the wood we use is from European forests, states the British Woodworking Federation. These forests are growing by 661,000 hectares each year, showing just how renewable they are.

  • A long-lasting product

How wood is treated, where it is stored and what type of wood it is can all impact the durability of an item. However, despite this, wood is generally known for its durability, with hardwood being the most long-lasting type. If treated correctly, a hardwood door has the potential to last more than 100 years!

Naturally, the longer a product remains usable, the more positive its implications on the environment; minimising or eliminating the need to produce new products, which in turn reduces energy consumption.

  • An insulator

Wood has a cellular makeup; the air chambers within the material work to absorb and hold heat, making it an effective insulator. Holding heat seven times more effectively than tiles, wood can make your home feel a lot warmer, allowing you to cut your energy consumption on heating.

  • Able to be recycled and reused

With a usable lifespan of 100 years, you can change and adapt your wooden items multiple times through upcycling, painting and treatments. So, instead of disposing of it and buying something new, you can simply rework it into something that looks completely different.

  • An effective carbon dioxide absorber

Trees absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, so essentially the more wood supplies we create, the greater the amount of carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere, contributing to wood’s lower carbon footprint. The impact is significant, as one cubic metre of new wood removes just under a tonne of atmospheric CO2.

A tree stops absorbing carbon dioxide when it reaches maturity, but at this point the tree is usually harvested. There is no risk of carbon dioxide being re-released back into the atmosphere at this point, as the wood acts as a carbon store.

  • Providing minimal, biodegradable waste

Wooden products create very little waste. In fact, waste products such as chippings and sawdust created during the production process can often be used elsewhere.

When this waste cannot be used, it has the advantage of being biodegradable. Over time, this type of waste will decompose into the earth, leaving no residual landfill. This is a key contributing factor in why wood is chosen as an eco-friendlier option.

  • A positive psychological impact

As if the above benefits weren’t enough, wood can also positively impact your health — both physically and mentally. Incorporating more wood into your home reduces the amount of manmade substances and potentially harmful chemicals in the environment. Timber and Design Online also claim that wood in your home can reduce stress levels.