Being Environmentally Responsible

You can’t watch the news for long without some environmental-related topic coming up. Whether it is climate change or something else, being environmentally responsible, or green matters more and more. Some people will use this as a major factor in determining which companies to support. And which to avoid.

This is an important thing to keep in mind for any business that is looking to make sure they do everything possible to find and keep happy customers. One example is in the furniture industry. It takes a lot of material to create furniture — especially the big stuff — like a bed. Where does all that wood come from? The forests.

Protecting The Forests

Having healthy forests is important for everyone in America and the world as a whole. Growing trees will remove poisonous carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to grow the roots, trunk branches, and leaves. Then oxygen returns to the atmosphere. Oxygen is kind of important to those of us who like to breathe!

Just one acre of trees can remove about 13 tons of dust and gases from the atmosphere! A responsible furniture manufacturer goes out of its way to avoid using certain types of wood. This includes wood from forest areas where high conservation values are threatened by management activities, wood that has been harvested illegally or wood harvested from areas which have been converted from natural forest to plantations or non-forest uses. Not to mention the fact that the forests are keeping furniture companies in business.

Types Of Protection

The U.S. Forest Service says that reforestation is at the core of efforts to protect watersheds on National Forest System lands and on adjacent lands that have been affected by natural disturbance events, such as wildfire, climate change, and insect and disease infestations. This also includes restoring forested ecosystems after planned timber harvests. This is a top priority for national forest management.

Reforestation is a treatment that re-establishes forest cover. This initiates the restoration of forest function. Prompt reforestation allows for the accelerated development of forest structure, species composition, and canopy that provides many benefits including wildlife habitat, clean and abundant water, carbon sequestration, forest wood products for consumers, forested recreation opportunities, and maintenance of soil productivity through soil erosion reduction.

This process presents unique opportunities to address emerging issues associated with climate change by conserving and managing genetic diversity to adapt to a changing climate.

Any reforestation needs from planned management timber harvest activities are typically paid for by receipts collected from purchasers of timber sales.

How A Business Can Help

Environmentally responsible businesses can and will be doing their part to help the environment. How can we make sure the forests that are so vital for many reasons are protected? Here are a couple of ways a business that uses a lot of timber can help.

  • Understand the importance — The first and maybe most important step is to know it is important, understand why it is important and feel an obligation to do your part. Without this foundation, none of the other helpful steps are likely to be taken.
  • Recycling — Landfills are also an important part of helping the environment. A couple of ways that a company using a lot of wood can do this is by recycling its hardwood and plywood waste. Salvage hardwood offcuts salvaged and turn them into mulch. They can also use their plywood offcuts to create pallets for shipping.
  • Use good wood — It is important to make sure that materials, including wood, are sourced in a good way — like through the Hardwood Forestry Fund. What do they do? “Through tree planting and implementation of forest management techniques on public land, the Hardwood Forestry Fund promotes hardwood timber growth, management, environmental education, and wise use of our nation’s renewable forest resources.”
  • Emissions — Some places have emissions regulations that need to be followed. Formaldehyde emissions have regulations for wood materials.

The goals we have for a sustainable future — from being environmentally responsible to reforestation — are right there within our grasp. It just takes some time and grit to truly make a difference. We can all do our part to fight for a future that is sustainable and clean. And we should.