The other day, this article from The Chattanoogan popped up in my Google Alerts. It has to do with carbon sequestration, the storage of carbon dioxide in a solid material through biological or physical processes. This is one of the ever-increasing number of environmentally friendly options available to businesses and individuals seeking to reduce their impact on the planet.

Trees naturally draw in and store carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. The gasses are stored within the tree until either the wood is burned or it rots away. As a part of the current green revolution, companies have emerged where people and businesses can buy “carbon credits.” The company supplying the carbon credit, such as Carbonfund.org, will take the donated money and channel it into a variety of carbon offsetting options. One of those options includes planting trees or purchasing trees to ensure they will not be harvested.

What does this have to do with the woodworking industry, you might ask. Well, it is just further evidence of the fact that wood is a superior material to use in the construction of homes, offices and a whole host of other applications. When using wood to build a cabinet, a piece of furniture or anything really, the carbon remains in the wood and stays out of the atmosphere. Additionally, newer and more efficient technologies are emerging all the time to use as much of the tree as possible.

In light of this, it is a little surprising when the LEED points available when using wood are comparatively low to the other building materials available. But that is a discussion for another blog. Perhaps in some future iteration of the LEED guidelines, wood will share more of the spotlight with other building materials.

More information on carbon sequestration can be found on the following federal Web sites:

http://www.fs.fed.us/ecosystemservices/carbon.shtml


http://www.epa.gov/sequestration/

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