The primary issue in choosing timber is to ensure it is sustainably forested and harvested.
- Use only timber which has been sustainably forested.
- Use timber suppliers which only certified sustainably forested timber.
- Insist on proof of certification.
- Use recycled timber where appropriate.
- Reuse or send timber for salvage after use.
- Recycle timber which can’t be reused or sent for salvage.
Timber is sourced from forests throughout the world. The problem with timber is once logged and moved from its original forest, it is very difficult to identify whether not only has it been sustainably produced, but whether it was legally logged at all.
The only way to be sure that timber isn’t from old growth virgin forests, logged illegally or using unsustainable practices, is to purchase certified forest products. Illegal or poorly managed forests ruin ecosystems, deplete biodiversity, and displace communities preventing the self-sufficiency of indigenous people depending on the forest for their survival.
There are many certification systems around the world, but the main and most respected is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).