Tropical Salvage , a Portland, Oregon USA-based company, "up-cycles" salvaged timber, producing attractive dÃ©cor and utilitarian products . Uniquely among decor suppliers to the green building trade, Tropical Salvage provides up front narrative details and photos of their materials sourcing practices. "Tropical Salvage applies three principal wood salvage strategies. We reclaim wood from DEMOLITION SITES where old buildings, houses or bridges have been razed. We salvage still standing but dead trees from areas where FOREST FIRES have destroyed forests, burning everything to ash except the biggest, densest trees. And, unique to Tropical Salvage alone, we MINE TREES from beneath the ground, where for centuries entire forests have laid buried by the consequences of volcanic eruptions". This communication openness leaves TreeHuggers an opportunity to think about meaning instead of just ask probing, loaded technical questions. Good job TS. And please take our ruminations as a compliment.Here's what we came up with so far:
Beyond the mere certification of forestry practices, product end users can not know exact material origins of a dÃ©cor or furniture item unless there is a label of declaration. In other words, the market is blind to salvage versus sustainable harvest. This leads to a philosophical question. Is Tropical Salvage helping grow a larger market in which commodity players with lower sourcing standards will or already do predominate? This question is reminiscent of one often asked about the ivory objects trade, in which it is argued, on the one hand, that any ivory allowed to be sold inspires global demand, which results in further poaching. The opposing argument of course is that a sanctioned ivory (or tropical wood) market gives surrounding communities an economic incentive to make production sustainable.
This debate is particularly interesting with a salvage market that by definition is unsustainable (unless you view the continuing threat of volcanic eruption as a renewable sourcing process).
Via: Sustainable Industries Journal (by subscription only).