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Top 3 Environmental Advantages of Using Wood

5 Jun 2015

 

The contemporary thinking of the society is the less wood we use, the better. Because there are lesser trees being cut. Correct?

No.

In the grand  scheme of everything, using woods as building structures as compared to the other alternatives are far more environmentally-friendly. Read on for the top 3 reasons.

 

1. Sustainable

Very few of the materials that we use in our daily lives are sustainably produced. For example, there is only a certain amount of oil in the earth, and once it is all used, it is gone forever and cannot be replaced. The same is true for the metals we commonly use.

Wood is one of these rare sustainable materials. Because trees grow back after they are harvested, we need never run out of wood, and by proper management we can ensure that the forests and plantations which produce our wood are sustained in perpetuity.

 

2. Solar Powered and Greenhouse Friendly

Trees grow and sustain themselves by the power of the sun’s rays on their leaves. The chemical reactions which result from this produce oxygen and absorb the major greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. Young growing trees in forests and plantations are sometimes called “carbon sinks” because they use the carbon from carbon dioxide to form the wood they need to grow. Older trees, which have stopped growing, are much less effective in using up greenhouse gases.

When trees are harvested for timber, the carbon stays locked up in their wood as it is used to make houses, furniture and other products. If trees are left to die and rot on the ground, the carbon changes back to carbon dioxide and goes back into the atmosphere as greenhouse gas.

 

3. Reducing Energy Use

Wood does not use much energy for processing. Since most of our energy is produced in a way which creates greenhouse gases (by burning coal or gas), the less energy used in processing, the less greenhouse gases produced.

The following table compares the amount of atmospheric carbon released per cubic metre in the production of wood and some other common construction materials.

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