Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Working with exotic woods - a dilemma

Most of the wood used in my shop was grown in Nova Scotia, and some from elsewhere in North America. A very small percentage though are exotic species, mainly from South/Central America and Africa. It is this last category that causes me some misgivings. Whilst it is very pretty wood, and very popular with customers, I do wonder what impact my use of this wood is having on the forests where it grows.

Some say that properly harvested woods help save the forest because it makes the local people see the value of the wood and leads to sustainable management practices. Surely this is better than burning the forests to make way for agriculture, which the local soil can only sustain for a few years. Also I have read in the past that large quantities of these timbers are used for low-grade applications such as construction (often for shuttering which is later discarded) and pallets, so does my contibution metter? Getting a balanced picture of the situation is not easy, but I think it is reasonable to conclude that rainforests are becoming seriously depleted.

Over the next few days I plan to investigate some of these issues, but in the meantime you can help save the rainforest by visiting The Rainforest Site and clicking the Save Our Rainforests button. Sign up for their daily email reminder service by following the Remember to Click link.

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