From Dean Dowd on November 19, 2007 in Green Remodeling
Nowadays, conscientious consumers read the labels on everything they buy. This includes those on appliances, furniture, and building material. With over half of the world’s rainforests depleted due to deforestation and predatory logging, people want to know that the lumber products they buy come from reclaimed sources of wood or managed forests. This is where eco-certification comes in. But who does the certifying, and what standards are they looking for? One of these entities is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible management of the worlds forests. The FSC bases certification on ten principles, which include compliance with laws, clearly defined and documented tenure and use rights to the land, recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples, forest workers, and local communities, efficient use of forests multiple products, and conserving the forests biological diversity and integrity. Small-scale forests are also eligible for the FSC label. If you dig around on their website, youll also find lots of useful information on things like regional foresting standards within the United States. The FSC hires third-party experts to perform certification tests. Among these are SmartWood, which offers independent auditing, certification, and promotion of FSC-certified forest products. A program of the Rainforest Alliance, SmartWood endorses the FSC standard with its own SmartWood label. Theres also the Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities Partnership (HFHC). Wood products purchased through this organization are guaranteed to be sustainable. Not only that, they are manufactured and sold with the intention of creating jobs for local communities, restoring land, and rebuilding local economies. Other possibilities for buying environmentally friendly wood products include those made from recycled lumber, salvaged lumber, or engineered wood.