Beautiful things don’t have to come at the expense of the environment. In past times, wood was used as a principal building material. However, more recently, we have come to protect our world and there is a growing awareness of becoming more environmentally conscious. The use of reclaimed wood in furniture is one of the many ways society is beginning to become more sustainable.
But before we share a few of the reasons why reclaimed wood is so special, we thought it might be of benefit to explain what the term ‘reclaimed wood’ actually means. Across the world, we stumble across old buildings which are either falling apart or are being destroyed to make room for bigger, better buildings. Thankfully, more and more dilapidated and unsafe buildings are now being destroyed carefully, meaning that the timbers are still completely useable and can be repurposed into something new and beautiful, whether that is reclaimed wood furniture or another reclaimed wood treasure.
Onto the main event: the reasons why we love reclaimed wood here at Modish Living, and why we think you will too.
Reclaimed wood is environmentally responsible
We hear about the rate at which trees are being cut down all the time and most of us nod along and agree that cutting down trees is bad for the planet. In fact, 15 billion trees are cut down each year according to a 2015 Time Magazine report. That equates to losing 36 football fields worth of forest every single minute (according to OneTreePlanted). But why should we be so concerned about minimising deforestation and opting for more environmentally responsible pieces for our homes?
Reclaimed wood prevents unnecessary wood entering landfills. In addition to the problems with perfectly usable wood going to waste, when wood is sent to landfills, the exposure to other types of wood can prevent wood from fully decomposing. When wood only partially breaks down, methane gas is released, causing a vicious cycle in global warming which affects both the environment and human health.
Additionally, too many tress lost could mean creatures could disappear from our woodland forever. 70% of world animals and plants live in forests and every day, these animals are losing their homes and food supplies to deforestation, according to One Tree Planted. For centuries, wood has provides warmth and shelter to humans, but it does not have to come at the expense of the creatures we share our beautiful blue planet with.
It’s enviably practical
One of the great things about reclaimed wood is how suited to family homes it is due to its durability. There are two reasons for this incredible durable nature. First up, older wood has already been exposed to hot and cold in its previous life, according to Reclaimed Flooring Company. This means that the wood has done all the expanding and contracting it needs to do and is therefore less likely to split, and stand the test of time.
Additionally, reclaimed wood is far stronger than new wood providing peace of mind that your new reclaimed wood dining table or sideboard will survive busy family life. This is due to the fact that trees originating from before the 20th century were given decades to reach their full maturity (and thus strength) and also received little to no air pollution so are far superior to the trees that are grown at speed now to keep up with the demand for wood.
But it doesn’t mean you compromise on style
Reclaimed wood is undeniably beautiful. With indentations, natural colouring and scars of wear and tear which all speak of past use, reclaimed wood has a uniquely weathered character which will tells a story and connects a living space to the outdoors in the most charming way.
But the best part is, those natural markings don’t just look fantastic on your new reclaimed wood dining room table. As your piece of furniture ages, it will only become more beautiful and its already huge heart stemming from its history will grow even larger when passed between generations of your family in the future.