We’ve all seen pictures of reclaimed barn wood and wine racks. Reclaimed wood is all the rage these days. A quick search on Pinterest will show you hundreds of DIY and home decor projects to make reclaimed wood furniture and decor. But is it eco-friendly wood? Before you rush out and buy a whole lot of reclaimed wood for your next project, let’s look at what it is all about, and find out whether it is environmentally friendly.
What exactly is reclaimed wood?
Reclaimed wood is the salvaged wood from old structures, demolished buildings, old barns, or churches. It’s wood with a past life, given a new purpose. Although this type of wood is sourced from everywhere, lumber – a type of recycled wood that is particularly sourced from older structures, is the most common type. Other common sources of reclaimed wood are:
- Old floorboards, rafters, and joists;
- Structural beams and poles from old warehouses and mills;
- Large snow fences.
Is it eco-friendly wood?
Well, the crux of our discussion today: is reclaimed wood sustainable? So let’s dig in, together.
Reclaimed wood is repurposed. So the wood here doesn’t end up in landfills, and that’s a big win!
We are all aware of deforestation’s widely known global problem and forests’ important role in sequestering carbon. Many timber industry representatives pledge to half deforestation, but the Zoological Society of London reports the opposite. It says that nearly half of the world’s top 100 tropical timber and pulp companies have not committed to sustainable forestry practices. Reclaimed wood reduces the need to cut down trees, hence keeping CO2 in check and reducing deforestation.
Also, milling repurposed wood into flooring and paneling or making it into furniture needs fewer resources. The environmental impact of making freshly-cut trees into wooden products is way higher than that of reclaimed wood. It has already gone through the whole process of growth, harvesting, and preparing wood into a finished product. It also shortens the transportation and supply chain of necessary materials. That also results in less CO2 emissions.
Well, the ultimate win for the planet here is that reclaimed wood doesn’t need the chemical treatments to strengthen it that the new wood often does. And, time, weeds out any poor quality wood. This means that reclaimed wood has withstood the test of time. It has already been exposed to the environmental pressure that tends to wrap and spill new wood. So, products made of eco-friendly wood are of the best quality and truly durable.
Where can you find reclaimed wood online?
Yes, you can totally buy reclaimed wood online. Here are a few online platforms that deliver reclaimed wood to your doorstep.
Etsy is a beautiful gold mine for anything and everything. You can easily discover repurposed wood furniture and decor. A quick search for “reclaimed wood” on the site can also lead you to the shops that sell reclaimed lumber.
Just like Etsy, eBay has all the salvaged wood you could possibly want. A search for “reclaimed lumber” will show over 1,000 results, so you’ll have plenty of possibilities.
Craigslist is another option if you’d like to locally pick up eco-friendly wood. Simply go to your local Craigslist page, click “for sale,” and then “materials” to find reclaimed wood, lumber, and timber. You can then contact folks who have posted listings you’re interested in and make arrangements to buy and pick them up.
4. Plank & Mill
Plank & Mill, another online distributor, offers numerous salvaged wood possibilities directly to your screen. Plank & Mill also offers a gallery of all the different projects their reclaimed wood has been utilized for, which is really cool.
5. Vintage Timberworks
Vintage Timberworks may be the finest option when it comes to pure selection. It’s a trusted provider of high-quality recycled wood that would be delivered to your door. They offer reclaimed wood flooring, teak, vintage boards, rustic cladding, box beams, vintage beams and timbers, rustic mantels, corbels, and even exterior siding.
Reclaimed wood comes with a certain amount of environmental advantage; it’s a great way to breathe new life into an abandoned piece of wood, and pass it on, to appreciate the wood’s character. Compared to freshly-cut wood, such reclaimed wood is environment-friendly wood. So, when you plan your next home project, think about reclaiming that old pallet or using recycled materials to build something new. You’ll be helping the environment a lot while reducing waste, and building something unique too!