Many homeowners are in love with hardwood flooring, preferring the durable, timeless look to some of the more synthetic or tile alternatives. The difficulty lies in creating that hardwood planking, which involves cutting down real trees and planing the logs into boards.
Unregulated and unchecked, such practices could result in deforestation. The good news is that lumber is a renewable resource, and measures are being taken to ensure that a balance between cutting down and regrowth is maintained. Here’s how lumber companies are working to keep the hardwood industry from doing too much environmental damage.
The Importance of Protecting the Environment
Trees are more than lumber. In addition to providing beautiful scenery, great shade, and superb building supplies, trees are also crucial for the environment and life on planet Earth. Their many essential contributions include, but are not limited to:
- Creating oxygen for humans and other living organisms.
- Removing harmful carbon dioxide and other air-based toxins.
- Filtering toxins out of water supplies.
- Conserving energy by reducing energy needs.
- Preventing soil erosion.
- Shielding UV rays from backyards and playgrounds.
- Helping to combat climate change.
- Keeping streets and other areas cooler.
- Providing food and produce.
- Marking the seasons.
- Providing shelter and homes for wildlife.
When too many trees are cut down or “deforested,” the many benefits they offer to a region are reduced. Oxygen levels are depleted, toxins are no longer filtered out as efficiently, and homes’ energy needs increase. The soil is eroded by elements like rain, UV rays more heavily penetrate homes and play areas, climate change issues crop up, and streets and other areas warm up. Also, less food and produce are created, and, more importantly, local wildlife loses its habitats or shelters.
Trees are important, and deforestation creates significant problems for those who live in nearby areas. There are ways to keep that ecosystem balanced, however. Regulations are in place to protect against such land-clearing projects, and many lumber companies are working above and beyond to not only adhere to – but exceed practical sustainability requirements.
Keeping the Ecosystem Balanced
Environmental regulations protect forested areas from being deforested by lumber and logging-based industries. The great thing about wood is that it is renewable, and cutting down one tree can be remedied by planting another. However, This isn’t a quick process, and too much cutting down in one place has a noticeable impact over time.
Sure, trees can be replanted, but they take multiple decades or centuries to become the same size as the ones that have been removed. This means companies must be careful about how many they cut from a particular area, and that they need to stagger their cutting efforts. Some go above and beyond the cut-one-plant-one model, planting several trees to replace the one that was removed.
Removing trees also alters ecosystems, forcing living organisms and wildlife out of their shelters. Too much of this, or too much too quickly, can endanger the many species that called the land home long before wood was considered essential to human structures and survival.
Careful management and regrowth mean trees remain a renewable resource, oxygen levels remain high, toxins continue to be filtered out, and wildlife keeps its home — all while homeowners like you get to continue to enjoy the beautiful hardwood floors they’ve come to know and love.
Flooring Experts You Can Trust
When you have questions or concerns about hardwood flooring, including the practices involved in creating your lumber or other materials, call your local flooring expert. Many, like District Floor Depot, only partner with lumber mills that use sustainable practices. This commitment ensures homeowners get to enjoy the hardwood floors they’ve always wanted while still protecting the environment.