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Eco Friendly Wood Furniture Helps Remove CO2 from the Atmosphere

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Eco Friendly Wood Furniture Helps Remove CO2 from the Atmosphere

Although it has been around much longer than some recently-invented high tech building materials, wood is still one of the most environmentally friendly materials available if it comes from sustainably managed forests. Not only are wood products biodegradable, they are also durable and long-lasting; furniture constructed out of solid wood typically lasts decades if not generations.

Wood products do not have to be replaced as often as products built out of other materials, such as plastic. In the advent that wood furniture does have to be discarded, it will naturally decompose instead of taking up space in a dumb for years to come.

In terms of CO2 reduction, trees – and the wood products that derive from them – serve a key purpose by acting as carbon sinks as they actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere. After carbon dioxide is absorbed by trees and other plants during photosynthesis, the majority of it remains in the stored in the tree or plant. When sustainably-raised timber is used to make wood products, such as solid wood furniture, the carbon dioxide remains stored in the lumber.

Made in America, this solid wooden Shaker Desk acts as a carbon sink as the wood that was used to build it stores carbon dioxide instead of releasing it back into the atmosphere.  Source:  Manchester Wood

Made in America, this solid wooden Shaker Desk acts as a carbon sink as the wood that was used to build it stores carbon dioxide instead of releasing it back into the atmosphere. Source: Manchester Wood

These benefits can be extended by focusing on quality craftsmanship: the longer a wood product lasts, the longer it stores CO2, which is an approach that Manchester Wood, a family-owned furniture business is a firm proponent of – they design their solid wood furniture to last for generations, which keeps the CO2 locked away.

The lumber that is used to build their furniture comes from nearby sustainably managed forests in the Northeast and is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Once the timber is delivered to their plant in Upstate New York, Manchester Wood focuses on maximizing the yield from each piece of lumber, using using sophisticated measuring and cutting techniques that enable them to use every possible square inch of wood.

As piece of wood furniture take shape on the production line, byproducts that would be treated as “waste” at other facilities, such as shavings and sawdust, are reused or recycled. The sawdust, for example, is given to local farmers who use it for animal bedding.

The bottom line is very easy to understand: as more wood is harvested from sustainable forests, CO2 is removed from the atmosphere. Buying solid wood furniture of furniture made out of unsustainable materials is an easy step that we can adopt to making this planet a greener place. When you’re next shopping for furniture, look for something built out of solid wood instead of other materials with a higher carbon footprint.

Nate is a product designer for Manchester Wood and freelance writer. His topics of interest include the environment, travel, and food.

The Fantastic Greening Of Plastic

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

A Big WOW! For Earth From The Little Island Of Japan

Akinori Ito has invented a machine called Blest, which converts plastic back into oil! Yes, really.

Looking eerily like the DeLorean’s flux capacitor in the Back To The Future movies, Ito’s machine is produced in various sizes, for both industrial and home uses. It can easily transform a kilogram of plastic waste into a liter of oil, using about 1 kilowatt of electricity but without emitting CO2 in the process. The machine uses a temperature controlling electric heater instead of flames, processing anything from polyethylene or polystyrene to polypropylene (numbers 2-4).

1 kg of plastic produces one liter of oil. This takes about 1 kilowatt of electricity, which costs 20 cents. 1 liter diesel oil costs $1.50  NOW, this is what I call recycling!

Although the company still mainly produces larger, industrial-use machines, people from around the world are anxious to know if and where they can purchase a machine. So, here you go – Blest– click on the english catalogue to get you answers direct from the horse’s mouth.

A wonderful invention to sustainably utilize the huge waste problem of the wonderful invention of plastic. It’s looking better and better ….

…. as the green future unfolds.

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