Is the wood “green”? Wood is often seen as a little “green” and environmentally friendly material. However, this is not entirely true and this is considered an environmentally friendly material. In this post, you will find some data that demonstrates that wood is sustainable and that the use of this raw material is increasingly used not only in furniture but also in the construction of buildings (sustainable architecture). Wood is a naturally renewable material that can be planted countless times, being the only material in the world that has a positive carbon balance.
1 | Carbon sink
In the process of photosynthesis of trees, they release the oxygen we breathe and simultaneously absorbs the CO2 present in the atmosphere. The trees store about a ton of CO2 per cubic meter of new wood. When trees reach maturity, they no longer absorb carbon dioxide, the collection of mature trees ensures that the CO2 absorbed during their development remains retained in products made from wood and acts as an incentive to plant new trees. One cubic meter of new wood is equivalent to one ton less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
2 | Renewable Material
In Europe, forest growth is growing stronger and more than 500,000 hectares of trees are planted annually. However, only 64% of this number is used and consequently the amount of wood available increases each year. Every second the volume of forests in Europe increases the equivalent of a wooden house.
3 | Energy-efficient
Wood is a raw material that does not require much energy to be produced. Compared to other materials, wood is very energy efficient and is the only material with a positive carbon balance.
4 | Is recyclable
When the period or purpose of using a wooden product ends, it can be reused or recycled in the manufacture of panels for the furniture or construction industries. In this way, it will continue to store CO2. Ecological panels obey quality standards that are not harmful to public health, established by the Federation of Panels the European Union.
5 | Clean Energy
By-products resulting from the wood manufacturing and production process and wood-based products that cannot be recycled are burned and used as an energy source, thus ending the wood cycle. Wood replaces fossil fuels and produces a neutral CO2 balance. Thus, the amount of CO2 released during the combustion of wood is the same that it absorbs during its growth, not contributing to the increase in the greenhouse effect.
An interesting fact about wood is that one cubic meter of this material contains about one ton of carbon dioxide stored, equivalent to 350 litres of gasoline. Is the wood “green”?