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Timber is one of the most sustainable building materials available on the market. Natural, renewable and with carbon-storage properties, if you are undertaking a construction project it is the real eco-conscious choice. Unfortunately, though, not all timber is equally sustainable. To ensure you are doing your bit for the planet and not greenwashing your construction with claims which do not add up, take a look at our tips for choosing timber which is truly sustainable.

Only Use FSC/PEFC-Certified Timber

At EcoChoice, we only supply FSC or PEFC-certified timber. Recognised as the gold standard in timber certification, these two independent labels ensure your wood comes from responsibly managed forests. Some key features of managed natural forests include:

  • Never over-harvesting any species
  • Allowing felled trees to be replenished naturally
  • Respecting local wildlife, waterways and delicate eco-systems
  • Protecting against deforestation

Timber which is not sourced from certified forests might not be doing as much good for the planet as you think. With our FSC/PEFC-certified choices though, you will be able to build with an easy conscience, knowing that the forest your timber came from is thriving now and protected for future generations. 

Opt for Fast-Growing and Abundant Species

We just mentioned that trees felled in responsibly managed natural forests are left to grow back naturally. To have an even smaller impact you can also opt for timber coming from sustainably managed plantations where fast growing trees provide abundant timber in a stable quality and rate of production. 

Pine, Douglas Fir, and Spruce trees, for example, are common in this part of the world and have a fairly quick growth rate. Cedar is another relatively fast-growing species and a durable choice for exterior projects. 

Look into Local Species

Not all timber can be sourced from the UK, but there are a fair few species which grow here, both native and non-native. By choosing locally grown wood, you will drastically reduce transport emissions, reducing your project’s footprint. Timber species grown in this country include Larch, Cedar, Ash, Oak and Beech. 

Consider Eco-Friendly Treatment Options

Natural timber is a wonderful, non-toxic building material which does not damage the surrounding environment. However, some treated wood can be a little more tricky to label eco-friendly. To reduce your environmental impact, opt for sustainable treatments which use fewer chemicals and more natural alternatives.

OrganoWood is a fantastic eco-friendly timber treatment option. Using an innovative protection method and natural Silica, the timber is impregnated to become more durable and extend the lifespan of the wood. The Organowood treatment replaces the harsh biocide chemicals currently used in treated softwoods for decking, cladding and fencing.

We are also ThermoWood enthusiasts. Taking the age-old method of toughening timber with a flame, ThermoWood uses controlled heat and vapour to create stable, durable wood from species which are not naturally resistant to rot and infestation. With no chemicals involved, it is also a great way to create hardier and more stable timber without a negative eco-impact.

Find Out More at EcoChoice

As one of the leading suppliers of sustainably sourced timber in the UK, the EcoChoice team are eco-timber experts. To learn more about how to reduce your climate impact when choosing timber, get in touch with us today. We are always happy to help!

Image: balipadma / Shutterstock.com

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