FSC Certified Wood: Being a Part of the Green Solution
The American consumer is perhaps the strongest player in the fight to protect our environment. As the buyers who select which items to pull off the shelf, we can wield a considerable amount of collective power. By choosing “green” products, we can send corporations the message that we prefer earth-friendly merchandise. By thoughtfully approaching the demand side of the economic equation, we can influence what companies supply.
Probably the strongest tool conscientious consumers have is self-education. Finding truly green items takes legwork –advertising agencies have been known to “greenwash” products to make them appear more earth-friendly, when in fact those same products are neutral or even harmful for the environment.
If you’re shopping for earth-friendly wood and paper products, including wood flooring and paneling, the most important thing to look for is FSC certification. The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is an international nonprofit organization that promotes an international standard for healthy forest management. One of its accomplishments is creating a certification system for sustainably harvested wood.
What Makes FSC Certified Wood?
In order to be called FSC certified wood, timber must be harvested sustainably; this includes criteria regarding humane labor as well as responsible forest management. FSC certified wood is logged in such a way as to minimize the negative impact on the surrounding forest. Additionally, FSC certified wood flooring and other FSC certified products must be transported using energy-conserving methods. Finally, whatever is built with FSC certified wood must be constructed via energy-efficient methods. This is the FSC’s Chain of Custody certification, which earns the highest number of points for LEED certification.
Where to Get FSC Certified Wood
Here at Viridian Wood, our passion is up-cycling wood that would otherwise be discarded. We were inspired to start our business at the Portland shipyards, where we saw just how much perfectly good wood, in the form of shipping crates and pallets, is simply thrown away! Right then and there, we were inspired to become a part of the solution. After years of determination and experimentation, we invented a method of processing discarded barn beams, gymnasium benches and other junkyard-bound wood into beautiful wood flooring and paneling products. As you’ve probably guessed by now, all of our wood products are 100 percent FSC certified.
One final warning note to eco-friendly consumers: As the importance of sustainable shopping becomes clear, different groups are competing to define how to certify truly green approaches. In the fight to define sustainable wood, the FSC is the reliable organization. Other “green” certifications may be subtly greenwashing products by promoting weaker certification options.