Saturday, April 30, 2016

EcoSelect and Larry David: We Respect Wood

One of the top-repeated bits in the Larry David pantheon of comedy is his earnestly posed question, “Do you respect wood?” Brought on by an incident where a wet-bottomed glass left a ring on an antique table, Larry went on a quest to uncover the guilty party and determine if others in his circle respected the beauty and importance of wood -- regardless of high or low origin.

Too bad Larry never got to meet J. Sterling Morton, the founder and innovator behind National Arbor Day.

Morton moved to the territory of Nebraska in 1854. There, while editing the Nebraska City News, he promoted the planting of trees. Morton emphasized both their value in industry, as well as their importance in the larger ecosystem. He understood that trees could provide relief from the heat and protect the topsoil of the plains, which was at risk of being displaced by gusty winds.

Using his position as secretary of the Nebraska Territory, Morton introduced the concept of a tree planting commemorative day, which he named Arbor Day. He proclaimed, “Each generation takes the earth as trustees.” His state planted over one million trees on that first holiday. When Morton served as Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland (1893-1896), he was active in setting up America’s “national forest reservations.”

The holiday is usually celebrated the last Friday in April, although some localities pick dates within the month that are more conducive to planting saplings in their specific area.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has stated, “The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating twenty hours a day. One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.”

Just like Morton, EcoSelect understands that trees help to clean the air, produce oxygen, serve as a home to birds and other animals, and yields innumerable paper and wood products.
Deforestation is a primary contributor to CO2 additions to global warming. It is responsible for about 24 percent of the CO2 additions. This is especially apparent in areas including Southern Asia and China.

The good news for the United States is that our forests are growing, and expected to jump another 15 to 20 percent by 2050. This is important because over the past half century, there has been a 39 percent increase in the volume of wood and paper products produced per cubic foot of wood input.
The lumber for all of our furniture is completely sourced in Western North Carolina and Tennessee -- not from national forests. The mills we use are certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and follow their guidelines for forest management. The local sourcing also means that there is smaller carbon footprint, since transportation costs are low.

Maple or Poplar is the genus of wood that we use. Both are plentiful and fast-growing, which makes it a sustainable species. Additionally, they are moderately dense and straight grained, which allows for good screw- holding ability and reduces warping or twisting.

Our frame construction utilizes smaller dimension stock and short lengths to maximize the yield from any single tree, and because we use only hardwood lumber (no plywood), absolutely no formaldehyde adhesives are used.

So, yes Mr. Larry David, EcoSelect respects wood!