Reclaimed wood is wood that is taken from old buildings, boats, and barns and repurposed as building or interior design material. Despite the fact that the structures where reclaimed wood is obtained are damaged, the individual boards are still of great use in construction, furniture design, and interior trimming.

Many homeowners and builders are now choosing reclaimed wood over composite wood because, as a recycled material, it provide more benefits in terms of durability, style, and cost. People who are advocates of protecting the environment also favor reclaimed wood because it reduces the demand for new wood and, thus, the need for logging and deforestation.

In fact, there are many ways in which reclaimed wood is environmentally beneficial:

  • Energy efficient. Compared to composite lumbers, reclaimed wood requires less energy during production and transportation because it is usually obtained locally. Producing, composite woods oftentimes requires materials that are imported from other locations thus creating a larger carbon footprint along the way. In addition, manufacturing composite woods is an extensive process that uses a lot of energy.
  • Less hazardous to the environment. The manufacturing process of composite woods contributes to pollution in the environment, given that artificial, and sometimes hazardous, chemicals are mixed with wood materials to create the final product. Reclaimed wood, on the other hand, does not require any unsafe materials to produce because it is usually used as-is.
  • Fewer trees harvested in the forest. Considering that reclaimed wood is obtained from old barns and existing structures, using it helps to decrease the need for logging and deforestation. Composite wood is manufactured using young trees in the forest and, thus, increases that demand.
  • Frees up landfills. Most materials from old and damaged barns are usually thrown away into landfills, which often clogs rivers and lakes. By recycling the wood, you decrease your waste.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions. When old wood is burned, it releases emissions into the air that contribute to greenhouse gases. By using reclaimed wood for your floors, furniture, and home construction, however, you prevent that from happening.

 

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