Images via Substrata
We've seen a lot of cases created for the Apple iPad, but these wooden cases by Substrata take the cake. Coming in three models -- a flat case, one that opens up, and one that stands the iPad up -- they are eye-catching, and sustainably made. In fact, even the wood scraps are used for heating the shop!EarthTechling brought our attention to Oregon-based Substrata and their gorgeous collection of sustainable wood cases for the iPad 2. There are three different models -- Tabletop, Open, and Artisan -- and each are simply beautiful.
Substrata states that it takes many approaches to being sustainable including, "how we deal with resources, energy, recycling and our human community balance the demands of doing business with a driving motivation to make the world a better place."
As far as the product itself goes, the company uses sustainably sourced wood, either the variety that is easily regrown or, when they use exotic hardwoods, they source only sawmills with sustainable practices, some of whom have been in business for over 80 years.
Substrata states, "They employ sustainable forestry practices, only harvesting mature trees to ensure the longevity of the source forest. Often, this means harvesting very small numbers of trees from very large tracts of land, sometimes on the order of 1-3 trees per hectare. Additionally, our supplier never buys logs, but always mill-processed boards. This ensures that money stays in the local economy, through the jobs provided by the mills."
Of course, there is always the argument that no exotic hardwoods are truly sustainable, noting not only deforestation issues in the forests where these woods are harvested but also the shipping issues. So for someone who takes the sourcing of wood very seriously, the fact that there are exotic hardwoods incorporated at all would make these cases less than green.
Still, factoring in the reality that for some areas, forestry is a primary source of income for a community and as Substrata rewards only the most sustainable sawmills with their business, perhaps the fact that hardwoods are used within reason is acceptable. It comes down to where one draws their own personal line.
In addition, the company ensures they are doing more good than harm, and $4 from every sale of an iPhone or iPad case is donated to humanitarian and reforestation efforts in the parts of the world from which our resources come.
The company also has a cool way for recycling materials -- recycled materials are used for packaging shipments of their goods, and wood shavings are used as filler for packing boxes. That means when you receive your case, you can use the wood packaging in your garden or compost bin. Additionally, wood shavings that are too small to be reclaimed are used to heat their shop, or are donated to local nursuries.
The cases are far from being as low a footprint as bamboo or sustainably grown pine (in fact, I would love to see what the carbon footprint of a single case is, and perhaps hear that the company is offsetting their footprint with renewable energy or other means), but considering how beautiful the cases are, how well crafted, and that they're made to last a lifetime, the extra efforts that the company puts into making them sustainable do indeed go a long way.
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