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Wood Is Green...How using Pennsylvania hardwoods is good for the environment and your wallet

Pennsylvania's forest is home to a valuable, life-enhancing, renewable resource- hardwood trees. Hardwood lumber is used to create high-value finished products with minimal environmental impact. Using Pennsylvania hardwoods is green for building, remodeling, flooring and furniture, cabinetry and woodworking projects.

10- Reasons to use Pennsylvania hardwoods for your next project

  1. Renewable- Trees grow back, unlike other raw materials such as fossil fuels and minerals.

  2. Environmentally-friendly - Non-renewable alternatives such as steel, plastic, aluminum and other metals have a much higher environmental and energy costs in their production.

  3. Zero waste- tree harvesting and manufacturing doesn't waste wood. By-products are used for mulch, wood pellets animal bedding, paper pulp, fuel, or biomass energy.

  4. Carbon neutral- The carbon dioxide absorbed by growing forests and stored in trees and wood products offsets the carbon released by harvesting, processing, transporting and the maintenance of wood products over time.

  5. Carbon storage- Wood used in long-term products such as furniture, cabinetry, flooring and construction stores carbon in solid form for hundreds of years and reduces air pollution. For this, nothing works better than wood.

  6. Green energy- The American Forest and Paper Association reports the forest products industry is the largest producer of renewable biomass energy in the country, generating 77 percent of it. The exceeds the nation;s solar, wind, geothermal energy generation combined.

  7. Buy local- Buying local helps our economy, protects our forests and slows the spread of pests. Using Pennsylvania lumber reduces the risk of importing more invasive species such as the Emerald Ash Borer and Walnut Twig Beetle currently threatening Pennsylvania's forests.

  8. Buy American- American Hardwood Export Council research assures that U.S. lumber conforms to the highest sustainability standards, making it easy for buyers to purchase legal, sustainably-produced hardwoods.

  9. The U.S. leads the world in sustainable forestry- This practice ensures woodlot regrowth after mature trees are harvested. Softwood forests are replanted, while hardwood forests naturally regenerate and sprout from existing seeds and root/stump sprouts.

  10. Pennsylvania leads the U.S. in hardwood volume- Recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service inventories show that Pennsylvania contains 105 billion board feet of growing saw timber (90 percent hardwood). nearly 2 billion board feet of additional wood grows in pennsylvania each year. Harvest rates in 2009 and 2010 are estimated at 600 million board feet, yielding a current growth to harvest ratio of nearly 4:1.

We are securing our forests' future

  • Pennsylvania features twice as much forested land as it did 100 years ago.

  • From 1990-2005, forested land in the U.S. increased by 17,000 square miles - an area larger than Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey combined.

  • A recent study showed carbon dioxide absorption by U.S. forests has increased by 25 percent since 1990.

  • The Sustainable Forest Initiative, the Forest Stewardship Council and American Tree Farm work with forest landowners, harvesters and manufactures to certify wood that meets green standards.

Things to remember...

  • Using real wood is natural.

  • People are drawn to the beauty of real wood, with its color variation, character and grain.

  • Studies show wood provides a soothing, healing, environment.


*all info was obtained from the Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council flyer


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