For many homeowners, there’s a presumption that any sustainable home improvements beyond a smart thermostat require heavy thinking and engineering that’s often best left to the professionals. While there may be some cases where that makes sense (photovoltaic panels come to mind), more often than not a sustainable home improvement is less about science and more about nature. Simple, small touches can add up to a measurable impact on the size of a home’s carbon footprint.
Renewable, Reusable, Recyclable
Take redwood lumber, for instance. Renewable, eco-friendly, sustainable, and the most trustworthy building material a DIYer could work with, redwood brings a natural beauty and durability that no lab has yet replicated. And it’s easily available today. Grown and harvested under some of the world’s most stringent environmental guidelines, redwood is one of nature’s most versatile building products that will bring both strength and natural beauty to any design aesthetic. Only natural redwood is renewable, reusable, and recyclable. Thanks to careful land management, an abundance of redwood lumber will continue to be available for future generations of home improvement enthusiasts.
Redwood is a sustainable building product from start to finish. A Life Cycle Assessment study of redwood shows that the growth, manufacture, distribution, and utilization of redwood lumber is much more environmentally friendly than the production of engineered alternatives. Because redwood is all-natural, it can be recycled or repurposed after its project has reached the end of its life. Synthetic solutions may use a recycled product in the manufacturing process, but they cannot themselves be recycled—they are likely destined for the landfill at the end of their useful lives.
More than just a pretty grain, redwood possesses structural strength that defies its lighter weight. Its unique fiber design means that redwood lumber naturally resists warping, cupping, splitting, and checking while holding to screws and fasteners remarkably well. These natural features also mean redwood can be stained and finished to match a color plan, or its natural warmth and beauty can complement any palette. That same durability means that a properly applied finish will last longer on redwood when compared to other wood surfaces.
Redwood can be used for a multitude of home improvement projects. It can be the starting point of a dramatic outdoor kitchen or used for pergolas, architectural focal points in landscaping, façade trim pieces, exposed timber beams, full walls of paneling, and more.
Redwood’s versatility means it's the perfect addition to any part of the home. With its natural strength, universal aesthetics and sustainable roots, redwood is the perfect green touch to add sustainability to your next home improvement project. Whether you’re looking for the next great DIY project or something unique to incorporate into a project in the works, redwood is a natural fit.
Charlie Jourdain is president of the California Redwood Association. Reach him at [email protected] or (888) CAL-REDWOOD.