Trees are important for the ecosystems of our planet; they produce oxygen, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and they provide habitats for thousands of wildlife species.
So when buying wooden products for your home, itâ€™s essential to consider how it reaches your living room.
Here are a few tips to help you look for the most sustainable wood products:
Look for the seal of approval
Over the last few decades legislation as been brought in to ensure that wood is harvested with as much respect for the environment as possible. Every product, which has passed all required inspections, is issued with an FSC certificate. Products are also marked with a logo to enable you to discover if the furniture you are buying is sustainable.
Use tropical species wisely
Despite popular belief, purchasing tropical species of wood isnâ€™t always detrimental to rainforest ecosystems. In fact supporting local landowners by buying their wood could actually prevent vast areas of forest being cleared for other uses, such as cattle grazing or subsistence farming.
The sustainable model of harvesting correctly, replanting and using any by-products from the trees, helps the local communities generate a fair and sustainable income, reducing poverty and restoring forest biodiversity.
Check out the companyâ€™s replanting policy
Sustainable companies will give information about their replanting schemes on their websites.
For example, wood-flooring manufacturer Kahrs, which is based in Sweden, replants in a 3:1 ratio and also make sure that saplings are protected and grow into adult trees.
Due to this scheme and similar projects across the country, Swedenâ€™s overall tree population has increased by over 50%.
Kahrsâ€™ environmental expert Bruce Uhlers explains: â€œItâ€™s part of the culture of the land, our company, and Swedish forestry regulations. Forestry authorities require a landowner to replant after a large felling. Sweden along with the EU, offers monetary and technical assistance as well.â€
Buy local (if possible)
One of the main factors affecting the impact of your purchase on the environment is the distance it travels to get to you.
Therefore if you live in the UK â€“ you donâ€™t really need to use Canadian maple, when there are suitable alternatives grown locally.
For more information and to view the Kahrs range of sustainable wood flooring, as well as other products, please visit the website.