Forests are absolutely essential for life on earth. They act as a home for wild plants and animals. Supporting a huge 80% of the land’s biodiversity, they sustain the livelihoods of indigenous tribes and local communities alike. Forests also protect soil from pollution as well as erosion. Crucially, as trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, they can even act as a defence against global warming. In extremely uncertain times for the long term future of this planet, forests still offer hope for the many generations to follow.
It is of gargantuan importance that businesses and consumers make decisions which are aimed at protecting and safeguarding the sustainability of this vastly useful and renewable material. Due to the fact that timber features everywhere in our daily lives, as our dependence is also increasing year on year. The key to this is to strike a balance between harvest operations and growth rate.
Most common uses of timber :
Using high-quality timber, also known as lumber, provides effective accommodation and is known to have many major benefits when compared to brick-built alternatives. For example, wooden buildings are known to quite easily handle extreme events like earthquakes. Whereas alternatives such as brick are known to fall apart, resulting in possible injury and even death. Most timber buildings will be found in countries who have a proportionately larger amount of forests available. Heavily featuring in the forestry industry are countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan, the USA as well as some European countries like Sweden and Norway.
The most common, well-known use for timber amongst the world’s general population is furniture. Everyday items such as chairs, benches, tables and beds are widely used in the world today. Different types of trees are known to possess unique attributes making each more suited to the different needs we have. Whether it be for enhanced warmth, aesthetically beautiful to the eye, or just for strength and durability, wood provides excellent value for money as well as adding some style to any room. Hudson Furniture for example, are an organization known for their high quality, sustainable timber based furniture.
In today’s world, it is becoming more and more essential to heat with wood rather than fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. Not only is it infinitely better for the planet. It also has vast long term economic benefits for if sustainability is managed with the proper care and attention, it is easily renewable and will never run out. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, can become scarce over time and therefore will also cost exponentially more to use.
Paper is still used in today’s society and is created by using sawdust and wood scrapings, therefore is easily made as a by-product from the manufacture of other wooden items. Even if it is perhaps used less today due to the influx of computers and advanced technology. From decorating our walls, to our toilet paper and the letters we receive every day, the paper is still used widely in the present day.
Another fun fact about wood is that after an item is no longer fit for purpose, it can be used to create electricity. This is known to be produced in a biomass power station, burning wood in boilers in order to create high-pressure steam. This is then pushed through turbines to power generators which produce electricity. Again, proving a more sustainable and cost-effective alternative to using expensive non-renewable fossil fuels.