Deforestation and Hardwood Flooring

We believe that reclaimed hardwood flooring looks better than new hardwood flooring and is more stable. There is an aesthetic preference for reclaimed hardwood flooring and antique flooring. There is also the case of reclaimed and antique hardwood flooring generally being healthier as it has much smaller VOCs emissions since all the glue etc. has long since off gassed. The strongest case, however, for using reclaimed hardwood flooring is environmental. The booming market for ‘exotic’ hardwood floors is driving legal and illegal logging of forests around the world.

This logging is causing loss of bio-diversity and loss of trees to absorb the growing carbon emissions of the world. Deforestation is speeding up climate change, and will surely be a massive contributor to worsening the quality of life for future generations.

Brazil has done a lot since 2004 to slow the rate of deforestation, but at the moment the country is at a knife edge between the forces of sanity who want to regulate and control logging in the Amazon and the monied interests who are making vast fortunes selling ‘exotic’ hardwoods to America. Environmental activists have been murdered while trying to stop illegal logging and the body politic is deeply divided between those who want to preserve Brazil’s phenomenal natural resources and those in the pocket of the logging companies.

There are two things that the average person outside of Brazil can do. First is to name and shame the companies in the USA who are importing rainforest hardwoods; the second is of course to not buy hardwood flooring but reclaimed hardwood flooring or another type of sustainable flooring instead. Here is a list of companies to name and shame as provided by www.rainforestrelief.org:

High street Retailers

BR-111
Robinson Lumber and Flooring
EWP Exotic Floors
Brazilian Direct, Ltd. (brazilianhardwood.com)
Home Depot
Lumber Liquidators

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Tags: deforestation, list of hardwood suppliers that stock rainforest hardwoods

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