Sustainability

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Some companies have practiced responsible forestry for years, harvesting and replanting in turn to provide resources for future production, but now there are more offerings made of salvaged wood.  This practice not only cuts down on waste that burdens landfills but it also lessens deforestation.  Old wood has characteristics difficult to reproduce in virgin wood, such as raised grain and general weathering, so for those who love a lot of texture and a sense of age in their pieces, the benefits are obvious.  Knowing you tread a little lighter on the planet feels nice, too.

One furniture designer I met with at market some years past opts to produce her line of rubberwood, a trend out of Asia. Rubber trees too mature for latex production used to be thrown on burn piles.  To my understanding, an English furniture manufacturer a few decades ago began to experiment with this 'waste wood' and discovered that it was not only useful in furniture making, but took both painted and stained finishes beautifully.  This extremely heavy species has a dense, attractive grain, and, once properly kiln-dried, is very consistent, meaning that splitting and warping are not an issue.  The furnishings my new acquaintance designs and manufactures are not only stylish and durable, they follow this direction of taking some responsibility for our planetary health by reducing the rate of deforestation.

-PM