There was a time when we simply went and bought the wood we needed, no matter where it came from or how it was harvested. Today, however, we make it a point to preserve our planet’s trees, woodlands, and forests which are essential for the health of the planet and ourselves.
If you don’t want to support illegal logging or encourage deforestation, you need to be aware of how to buy sustainable wood.
What is sustainable wood?
Sustainable wood comes from sustainably managed forests. It’s renewable because the forest stewards manage the landscape to prevent damage to eco-systems, watersheds, wildlife and the trees themselves, taking a long term rather than short term view of the resource.
Sustainability in this context means the forest should still be there for your grandchildren and great grand-kids and be able to soak up carbon emissions and keep our air clean for generations to come, as well as a being haven for wildlife.
Wood from unsustainable sources, on the other hand, is chopped down without a second thought leaving bare areas that, unless they’re carefully treated, never really recover to their former glory. The effects are clear – illegal logging leads to wholesale destruction.
Two of the most popular types of sustainable woods used for outdoor furniture are teak and ipe wood.
The king of durable woods, teak will hold up long enough to pass down to the next generation. It needs no maintenance (aside from the occasional light sanding or cleaning to remove surface dirt), is dense and straight-grained, and will not warp or crack over time. Because of its high mineral content, teak resists rotting even in the wettest conditions. Over time, the surface of the wood will weather to a beautiful silver-gray patina.
Ipe (pronounced “EE-pay”)
Ipe is chocolate-brown when new, and the sun transforms it to a silver patina. Because it is so dense, Ipe resists splintering and checking as well as rot, decay, insects, carpenter ants, mold, and even fire – naturally. Weather has little to no negative effect on Ipe, making it an ideal choice for outdoor rooms in Texas.
We have several great collections of gorgeous outdoor furniture crafted from sustainable wood.
The plantation-grown teak frame features distinctive designed arms and backs that have the appearance of woven ribbons of teak in an x-pattern. This same detail is repeated in other Halifax pieces, unifying the collection. The deep, structured cushions provide supportive indoor comfort in a durable, all-weather premium fabric.
Ventura is the classic teak collection by Gloster embodying comfort and style. Highest quality workmanship and detail goes into every frame and cushion to ensure utmost relaxation and durability. Take a seat and relax, recline or swivel around.
Jensen Leisure Opal
Jensen’s Opal collection is inspired by the famous Chicago Hancock Building and crafted from beautiful and sustainable ipe wood. The Jensen name has been synonymous with thoughtful design and solid craftsmanship. Jensen only uses 100% FSC Certified timber and has been nominated for Best Patio Furniture from About.com’s Reader’s Choice Awards.
Jensen Amber Dining
The traditional Ipe furniture pieces represent the early designs of the company. Rather than assembling with dowels, these go together with hardware fasteners. The chair and bench designs host comfort in contoured, ergonomic seating, while most of the tables utilize larger Ipe slats for a more traditional, cottage style.