Working with wood for so many years has heightened our sensitivity to the environmental implications of our work. At Pinocchio Woodworks we have thoroughly researched the best ways to do what we do, using eco friendly woods, finishings, and techniques. We encourage our clients to choose these options.
How woodwork can be environmentally friendly?
There are many standards that Pinocchio Woodworks employs to avoid environmental damage while creating beautiful environments in the most responsible ways:
The Forest Stewardship Council is an international nonprofit organization promoting environmental, social and economic justice. A wood stamped with the FSC logo insures that the processes of growing and cutting this wood have been sustainably managed. The stamp indicates that cutting the wood has not contributed to deforestation, has not contributed to loss of biodiversity or habitat, and has not involved exploited workers. Finally, the stamp affirms that harvesting this word has positively contributed to the local economy.
At Pinocchio Woodworks we maintain a large stock of wood from demolition sites, deconstruction projects, and remainders from our own projects. When appropriate, we draw on this stock, giving a second use to materials that have already served a previous function, thereby minimizing environmental impact. Pinocchio Woodworks maintains a rich repository of designs for recycled wood, including for projects that call on us to match and combine different kinds of repurposed wood into a new high-end piece.
The most sustainable wood products are called “rapidly renewable materials.” Bamboo falls into this category as do some harder-to-find products such as wheat board and strawboard (made from compressed agricultural waste products). These materials re-grow in fewer than five years while many tree varieties take thirty years or more to reach a harvestable size.
- Sustainable Woods and Wood Products
Conventional solvent-based finishes such as nitrocellulose lacquer and varnishes provide a durable, high quality finish at a reasonable cost. However, they can also be significant sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) both in the application and cleanup stages. Solvents released to the air include xylene, toluene, ketones, methanol, methylene chloride, and various mineral spirits. Application techniques that minimize the harmful environmental effects of solvent-based finishes do exist, but these add cost and complexity to the finishing process. An alternative approach is to use non-solvent-based finishes or finishes with low solvent content. This category includes finishes made from plant oils and waxes, insect secretions, earth and mineral pigments, and other natural materials. It also includes various types of water-based finishes.