This article is shared courtesy of ARA Content.
How A Forest Products Company is Making a Real Environmental Impact
(ARA) – With the growing popularity of green building practices, more companies are incorporating environmental and sustainability policies. These are all positive steps toward reducing the impact of global warming and caring for our earth. But what do you really know about a product you buy that is labeled green? Is it really environmentally friendly, or is it just a marketing scheme? And how much of a difference is it actually making?
“Green and sustainable forestry practices are a step in the right direction. But even the most stringent standards, those certified internationally by the Forest Stewardship Council, are only a modest step away from the large-scale deforestation practices that were prevalent until recently,” says Raul Hernandez, founder of Old-Growth Again, an organization dedicated to restoring logged forestlands back to their ancient form.
Hernandez goes on to explain the problem is sustainable forestry does little in the way of restoring large and ancient trees overtime. Without these trees as a significant portion of working forests, the effects forestlands can have on global cooling are limited. Under sustainable forestry practices, lands are cut at rates of up to 30 percent per decade. At this rate of cut, a forest is “sustained,” but it’s maintained as a young forest in perpetuity with trees rarely exceeding 80 years of age.
OGA is changing this by practicing a much higher “Restoration Forestry” standard. Restoration forestry involves many practices including limiting the rate of cut to a maximum of 10 percent in any one decade. This conservative rate allows for a growth increase of standing lumber at rates of approximately 20 percent per decade, allowing the forest to mature so that a large amount of the forest canopy will once again be dominated by trees over 200 years old (the definition of old-growth).
Why is this important? “Depending on the tree species and geography, forests managed on a 200-year cycle sequester 3 to 4 times more carbon per acre than forests managed on 60 to 80 year cycles,” says Hernandez. “Restoration forestry practiced on a global scale would cause dramatic global cooling to take place while growing the highest quality lumber.”
How can you help? With the nice weather, more people are spending time outside enjoying their yards. If you are looking to add some new furniture and decor, consider Forever Redwood, OGA’s thick-timber products, which help fund the organization’s mission. Add some new lawn furniture, a gazebo or pergola, a swing or just some planter boxes. The look and design of the products is a throwback to another era when lumber was plentiful and of extremely high quality.
Besides supporting a good cause, redwood products are very long lasting and can be left outdoors for decades in elements such as harsh sun and snow, without maintenance. You can choose from three grades of redwood for Forever Redwood products — young, mature and old-growth. Half of the lumber used is from salvaged material left on the forest floor when the forest was first logged in the 40s and 50s. This wood is carefully inspected, and because of its high quality, much of it is in great shape and can be used, a testament to the longevity of the old-growth lumber. The other half comes from careful harvesting of the forest.
“One of the biggest aspects of global warming is deforestation. If forest lands are managed so they sequester carbon as they did before the high levels of harvesting, a big part of global warming equation would be eliminated,” says Hernandez.
To learn more about Forever Redwood furniture and products, and how old-growth forests are helping counteract global warming, visit www.ForeverRedwood.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content