Is Wood Recyclable/Renewable?
Wood is considered one of the most versatile materials on the planet. You can use wood in a variety of ways. It’s primarily a building material for homes, factories, offices, and other structures and it is also a staple in the furniture industry.
It can be manufactured to make all kinds of useful stuff too like paper, cardboard, bags, insulation, fabric, flooring, shingles, tableware, accessories and so many more. And not to mention many homes still use firewood for fuel.
With wood’s many uses, have you ever wondered if the supply of wood is enough to satisfy our needs?
Of all the things we use every day, the only truly renewable and sustainable raw material is wood. So yes, wood is recyclable or renewable. However it can take many, many years to renew wood and if we don’t act fast and place control over the use of our forests, there might not be any wood left to use.
Wood is the most environmentally-friendly raw material that is readily available everywhere. Thousands of products that we use every day are made from wood or have wood components. This includes our homes, paper products, and furniture.
Read More: The Science Behind Wood
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There are also chemicals, medicines, clothing fiber, carbon fiber, food, energy products, containers and many other things that come from wood. You can extract organic aspirin from willows, fabric from wood pulp and buildings made from very strong wood.
Forests can grow back after a harvest. However, other natural resources such as metal ores, coal, petroleum, and natural gas are unable to do so. The extraction and the processing of wood also use very little energy compared to the processing of other materials. With wood, you can reduce, reuse, and recycle.
An environmentally conscious individual needs to learn how to recycle and reuse wood. This way, you are easing on the use of wood and the cutting and harvesting of forests just for making furniture, firewood or building material.
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Read More: The Math Behind Woodworking
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Reuse old furniture
Instead of throwing an old desk or shelf, you can repaint it or sand it down and varnish it to make it new. Reinforce wooden shelves and cabinets so these can still be used. You can also knock down a cabinet or table to reuse wood as building material or for making recycled furniture. Every piece of wood is important and reusable, remember that.
Treat wooden fixtures at home
One of the most common reasons homeowners change wooden fixtures is because of pests, mold, and rot. But these are all preventable. You can use chemicals and products to prevent molds and insect infestation. These are applied periodically in pest and mold-prone wood. Ask a professional to help you out.
Take care of outdoor wooden furniture, decks and wooden fences
Just like wooden fixtures at home are vulnerable to rot, pests and mold, outdoor wood as well. Aside from pests and mold, outdoor wood is affected by the elements, therefore, wood can slowly deteriorate. The best way to prevent this is to add stain or paint your outdoor furniture, flooring or decks.
Wooden fences also need similar attention. There is no need to periodically thrash your picket fence and install a new one; with varnish or a fresh coat of paint, these will look like brand new.
Make use of discarded wood and pallets
There are many uses of discarded wood and wooden pallets. You can turn these into small furniture, shelves, tables, desk, racks, chicken coops, dog beds, fences and more. Pallets are everywhere and you can get these from factories, lumber yards and even in the trash.
Use bamboo wood
Bamboo is a fast-growing grass and can be used to make all kinds of things even furniture and homes. Bamboo is ready to be harvested in just 5 years and is very strong. So instead of using cedar or other hardwoods that can take decades to mature, use bamboo.
Wood is a renewable/recyclable resource. But this does not mean we can abuse it. Every time you cut down a tree, plant five or ten more in its place. Our forests need our help to sustain itself. We should consciously cut down on the wood use and recycle furniture and wooden materials to help out.