Top 5 Reasons to Choose Reclaimed Lumber Products
We live in a disposable society. We buy new, use it until we’re done and throw the rest away, regardless of whether the product still has life in it.
Wood is one of the materials that are often discarded before their time. Abandoned buildings, packing materials and other wood products contain perfectly good timber that can be salvaged and reused in a variety of ways. Fortunately, consumers are catching on to the benefits of recycled lumber, and homeowners are increasingly using salvaged wood for flooring, paneling, decking and furniture. Here’s a look at the top five reasons to use recycled lumber instead of new:
1. Recycled lumber is better for the environment.
Consumers have a voracious appetite for wood that is threatening forests throughout the world. The global demand for wood products has risen steadily since the 1970s, and it’s expected to keep on climbing for the next few decades as the world population continues to inflate.
Although wood is one of the most natural and abundant renewable resources on the planet, it’s not always harvested in a sustainable manner. Forests are being cut down much more quickly than they can grow back. At the same time, perfectly good lumber from shipyards, abandoned buildings and other sources is routinely burned or disposed of as waste.
Recycled lumber provides a double benefit for eco-conscious consumers, as it reduces the demand for new lumber while also preventing the old material from contributing to pollution or filling up landfills.
2. Salvaged wood has character.
Old, weathered wood offers a rustic style that’s unmatched by new lumber. Light sanding and finishing brings out the unique properties of the aged wood, while blemishes such as nail holes and oxide stains simply add to its character. The beauty of any wood product is its lack of uniformity; no two pieces are exactly the same. Recycled lumber takes this uniqueness to a new level.
3. You can get exotic hardwoods without guilt.
Exotic hardwood is becoming increasingly valued among homeowners for use in flooring, decking and other home applications. Not only are these foreign hardwoods renowned for their durability, but they’re prized for their rich colors and beautiful grain. Unfortunately, they also come with major environmental pitfalls.
When it comes to deforestation and exploitation of underdeveloped countries, logging companies that harvest exotic hardwoods are some of the worst offenders. While some do employ responsible and ethical forestry management practices, others are simply out to make a quick buck and don’t mind violating the environment and the human rights of local indigenous peoples in the process. Consumers who buy exotic hardwoods run the risk of fueling these exploitative practices.
Reclaimed hardwood, however, carries none of that baggage. Most recycled lumber from Asia and other parts of the world arrives at U.S. shipyards in the form of packing material that would simply be discarded if it wasn’t repurposed. Reclaimed hardwood lets you reap all of the benefits of these exotic woods, while keeping your karma squeaky clean.
4. Salvaged wood has history.
Whether it’s an old-growth fir beam from an abandoned barn or exotic Asian hardwood that’s been shipped across stormy seas as a packing crate, every piece of salvaged wood has a story behind it. By using recycled lumber in your home or business, you’re preserving that history and giving it new life – and you’re getting an interesting conversation piece in return.
5. Recycled lumber reduces shipping needs.
When you buy products made from new exotic hardwood, the wood must be shipped at some point into the United States, which adds not only to the cost but to the product’s carbon footprint. Reclaimed hardwood, however, has already been imported on someone else’s dime. Repurposing it diminishes the demand for shipping new wood.
With all of the benefits recycled lumber provides, it’s no wonder salvaged wood has become a darling of architects, designers and homeowners.