If you are anything like me you struggle to balance sustainable living with a modern life style. Such as when you simply want to recycle your glass bottles and jars. For me in my community there is no recycling service for glass so I can either throw it in the trash (gasp) or drive it an hour (one way) to recycle it. Now I ask myself "how much non renewable resources am I using to do this"?
A driving factor in my desire to build furniture has been rooted in the need to add something to our community that adds real and lasting value without compromising our natural resources in the process. It pains my conscience to think about building something that I am not totally convinced that it will last a lifetime. A basic requirement in designing and building furniture for me is that it must last as long (preferably longer) than it took to grow the tree from which the wood came from. This is the only way furniture can be sustainable. There is no getting around it. And really we have no excuse as a society not be able to accomplish this simple goal. The design criteria has been established for quality construction for at least a couple hundred years.
What prompted this blog entry was really to share some positive news about the health of our forest here in the US. According to one government agency that keeps records of our forestry, since 1953 there are 199% more hardwoods being grown in the US today compared to then. That was a surprise to me. It makes me feel good to see that in this area of conservation we are getting it right. I hope we continue to do so.
So then buy hardwood furniture. Demand that it be quality built. Then use it and pass it on.