Meeting our Sustainability Needs with Wood Soul Source Blog
At Soul Source, we value sustainability and do our best to understand the entire lifecycle of the products we sell. According to the definition from the UN World Commission on Environment and Development, “sustainable development is development that meets the
needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
We believe that what we create and consume now should be done sustainably with future generations in mind. This means careful consideration of packaging, travel distance, materials used, waste produced during production, durability of products (how long they will last) and ability to reuse/recycle and/or biodegrade once a product is no longer useful.
The status quo is to make a lot of things as cheaply as possible for rapid consumption in a linear fashion, with little to no consideration of the full lifecycle of products or if they are sustainably sourced and produced.
This status quo is causing immense harm, and one area where that is all too evident is in the use of wood.
Healthy forests are essential to supporting life on Earth. “Forests cover 31% of the land area on our planet. They help people thrive and survive by, for example, purifying water and air and providing people with jobs; some 13.2 million people across the world have a job in the forest sector and another 41 million have a job that is related to the sector. Many animals also rely on forests. Forests are home to more than three-quarters of the world’s life on land. Forests also play a critical role in mitigating climate change because they act as a carbon sink—soaking up carbon dioxide that would otherwise be free in the atmosphere and contribute to ongoing changes in climate patterns.” WWF.
The uses of wood are endless. It is a renewable resource and yet, many practices in the timber industry, and specifically the illegal timber trade, are decimating our forests and feeding a cheap supply of everything from building materials to instruments to furniture.
Sourcing wood can contribute to deforestation when logging practices are not conducted in a sustainable and responsible manner. Deforestation occurs when forests are cleared or degraded at a rate that exceeds their natural regeneration, often driven by the demand for wood and other forest products. Unsustainable logging practices can have significant environmental impacts.
While there is a desperate need to combat the illegal timber trade on a policy level, individuals do have the power to make more sustainable choices when buying wood products, such as furniture, paper, and building materials. We can buy locally whenever possible to support sustainable wood products that can reduce the demand of illegally sourced wood and support local economies.
The benefits of choosing locally sourced when possible are numerous:
Local wood requires less transportation, which reduces the carbon emissions associated with shipping and logistics.
Buying locally sourced wood supports local businesses, jobs, and economies, contributing to community development.
Local sourcing reduces the need for long-distance shipping, which can lead to lower energy consumption and pollution. It's often easier to verify the sustainability practices of local suppliers and to have direct communication with them.
By using local wood, you can promote the use of native species, which can contribute to preserving local biodiversity.
Of course, in order to buy locally sourced and crafted wood products, we must have access to those products. Here at Soul Source, we provide access to products made from wood that are sustainably produced as locally as possible.
We have many products, including furniture and other home essentials, from local woodworkers who use wood right out of their backyards! It doesn't solve the problem if illegal timber trading and the crisis we face with forest and biodiversity loss, but it does move to needle a little in the direction of more choices for consumers to choose local and sustainably produced wood that supports our local economy.