Until the energy crunch of the 80’s, we devoured our planet’s resources as though there is a limitless supply. We are discovering that our supply is finite, and that as stewards we must change our ideas of how to capture and utilize energy. We must reuse our waste so that it aids our survival rather than burying us and polluting our air and water.
In the face of global warming, we are realizing that our impact on the health of our environment has real consequences for each one of us.
Sustainable building has been defined as building that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Having walked on wood floors that are over 100 years old, I would say that wood flooring is a sustainable material. The best thing about wood is that is beautiful and timeless. A homeowner is not likely to curse earlier residents for having installed it, and feel the need to tear it out to cart it away to the landfill.
Over 10 million acres, almost 1% of African forests are lost every year. People, desperate to feed their families hack out plots for small-scale farming. Hundreds of them go to the forest each day to work their pineapple and cocoa farms.
In the Amazon and throughout South America, forests are burned for cattle grazing or large scale soybean farming.
In Indonesia and elsewhere in southeast Asia, island forests are being cut or burned to make way for giant plantations of palm, whose oil is used in food processing, cosmetics and other products.
We support sustainable forestry which promotes management practices that ensure long-term timber production while maintaining the ecological health and balance of the forest. Sustainable forestry is about prompt reforestation, protecting water quality, and wildlife habitat, maintaining cultural and historical sites, providing for recreational use, and generally respecting the forest ecosystem.
Woods produced through such practices are commercially more available now than ever before. On the 486 million acres of forestland in the United States classified as commercial, substantially more wood is added in new growth each year than is harvested. For hardwood species, from which most wood flooring is milled, 86 percent more wood is added annually in net growth than is removed through harvest.
“Waste not, want not.”
As long as Suzanne can remember, these words were spoken by her grandmother and her mother, the wisdom a foundation for how the Prieur’s have lived their lives. Suzanne’s first business was a vintage clothing store where she recycled the charm of yesterday’s fashions. Both Prieurs have favored living in historic houses and promote the environmentally sound idea of preserving them keeping them out of our landfills.
Chris was the only wood flooring craftsman invited to attend Renew Tampa: Making Preservation Greener! — organized by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ Architectural Heritage Committee. The weekend conference promoted a greener architectural heritage by assisting participants in shaping tomorrow’s ideal environment, through architectural preservation and design that is environmentally sensitive.
At the recent National Wood Flooring Association’s yearly convention Chris spoke with many manufacturers about their products in his constant research for earth-friendly materials. His experimentation with low-VOC finishes is continuous as new products constantly hit the market.
We are also committed to promoting brands of wood that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC sets high standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable way.
In our research for green products and services, we have found many folks who are committed to ensuring that our planet will support life for generations to come.
Visit our Green Glossary to learn the basics of preserving our precious resources.