We do go on about wood being the greenest building material, and how it sequesters carbon throughout its useful life. But what about at the end of its life? Steel and aluminum can easily be recycled, but what about wood? The American and Canadian Wood Councils have launched Reusewood.org, an interesting and useful resource, and a very cleverly designed website.
It not only explains what each item is and what it is good for in its second life, but after you enter your postal or zip code it tells you who will take it off your hands.
For some reason it thinks I live somewhere between the moon and Venus, because most of the solution providers are 1,000,000 kilometers away from my home. Others are closer, but still a silly distance and another country away from me. But when it works, it's great.
But wait, there's more. If you click on the All topics button you find an encyclopedia about wood, really useful information on everything from Architectural Salvage to Woodworking. There is a business directory accessible by map and individual listing pages. It's not just promoting the use of wood, but considering its entire lifecycle, as they note in the press release:
Salvaging and reusing wood and wood-based products ultimately reduces waste, therefore lessening the impacts associated with extracting and processing resources. A considerable amount of wood used in construction (such as formwork and bracing), or in a demolition, can be salvaged and reused.
The choice of products used to build, renovate and operate structures has a significant impact on the environment. When specifying any materials, it is important to consider their life cycle environmental impacts. Wood products have less embodied energy, are responsible for lower air and water pollution, and have a lighter carbon footprint than other commonly used building materials.
More reasons to feel good about wood. Visit Reusewood.org.