Wood, concrete, and steel are the principal building resources used. Of these materials, wood construction acts as a greenhouse gas emission attenuating strategy and comes from a renewable and sustainable source. A single mature tree absorbs carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 pounds per year. In one year, an acre of forest can absorb twice the CO2 produced by the average car's annual mileage! With that 48-pound decrease of carbon in the atmosphere, the risk of climate change decreases drastically.
It is amazing that tress remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it. However, as trees age, their ability to absorb carbon from the air slows. When a tree eventually dies and decomposes, it lets the carbon it has been storing back into the atmosphere. Therefore, only growing trees to store carbon is not enough. To be sustainable, we must grow AND cut down trees. A cut down tree will no longer remove carbon from the air, but it will continue to store the carbon that it previously removed. When these cut down trees become a chessboard, a wine rack or a wooden home, carbon continues to be reduced in the air. This occurs through more tree growth and less carbon emission in manufacturing productions.
Watch this video to hear more and to learn how five tons of carbon are displaced by using wood instead of steel when building.
Where do you play a role in all of this? Well, the average American home emits five tons of CO2 a year. That is equivalent to burning 5,335 pounds of coal! Calculate your carbon footprint by clicking here. Someone with a footprint of 13.50 tons of CO2 requires 193 trees to be planted per year!
“All About Trees.” Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership,
“Carbon Footprint Calculator.” Conservation International,
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. (2021). Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material. Madison, WI: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.