A Few Reasons To Love Recycled and Reclaimed Wood

Whether you are someone who works on wooden DIY projects in your free time or earns a living making finding new ways to work with this wonderful renewable resource, finding a good source of raw material is essential. With that in mind, the following Nature’s Packaging post is a short list of reasons you should love recycled and salvaged wood.

Here’s Looking at You, Wood!

One of the primary benefits of using recycled, salvaged wood is that it offers a unique look aesthetically. Reclaimed wood is one of the few materials where versatility in re-use can lead to beautiful creations.

Recycled Wood Artwork

In particular, recycled wood tends to have a one-of-a-kind appearance that can’t be recreated.

Reclaimed Wood Artwork showing figure in wood pattern.

These aesthetically unique characteristics add to the attraction and can contribute significantly to wood-based art becoming sought after pieces of design and creativity. Artists often work with the various defects in the wood figure and discover novel ways to incorporate them into a new pattern and perspective.

Sustainable and Green Friendly

Recycled and salvaged wood is green-friendly. Wood is one of the most renewable and recyclable resources on the planet. The practice of silviculture is the ability to grow and manage trees for use in everything from building materials, to woodworking, to industrial uses (like pallet building).

During their development, trees continually provide oxygen in the environment, and absorb and retain carbon dioxide. Moreover, unlike some plastics or other synthetics, wood does not produce out-gassing of harmful vapors during its deterioration.

When using salvaged or recycled wood, this is an even more green-friendly option. Re-purposing salvaged wood prevents it from being unnecessarily wasted or discarded into a landfill. It also helps decrease the energy consumption that occurs when producing new materials. And recycled wood continues to sequester carbon for many years during its complete lifecycle.

Structural Stability of Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed and salvaged timber can offer a high level of structural stability. Since most of the timber has been exposed to various elements for decades at a time, the weathered wood can actually be stronger. If the wood has been salvaged from older structures, it often comes from old-growth timber. Old growth timber is more dense, stronger with a tighter grain and hardness, burns slower, and is more insect resistant.

Old growth timber compared to new growth timber by tree ring count

Old growth vs new growth timber

Wooden Pallet Recycling

Recycled wood is a key component in the sustainability of the modern supply chain. The pallet industry can proudly boast of a 95% recycle rate for wooden pallets and containers. Their full lifecycle begins with new pallets being built from the less desirable sections of raw timber (industrial lumber), thus utilizing more sections of a tree rather than wasting it. Their repeated use and repair greatly extends their utility lifecycle phase within the supply chain. And their end phase is re-purposed into end products like wood pellets for fuel, ground mulch, animal bedding and many other products. Or the pallet components can end up as a wonderful piece of art or even furniture.

patio furniture made from recycled wood pallets

Vital to the wood life cycle and a key element in sustainable practices (industrial, commercial, and personal), recycled and repurposed wood not only offers you a unique multi-purpose utility, it also contributes to a more sustainable environment. Wood makes the world a more beautiful place and truly moves the world as well.

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