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Why Sustainably Harvested Lumber Matters

Updated: Oct 31, 2023


A forest that has been clear cut

I am passionate about sustainability and selecting only locally sourced, salvaged wood is the first step of my design process. Decades ago, I used tropical hardwoods for a variety of projects without understanding the danger to the environment my choices engendered. Tropical hardwoods are both beautiful and versatile, many possessing incredible properties and characteristics, but the degradation of the forests in the environments where they are harvested has created terrible impacts for both the local population, wildlife and now, through climate change, we see the cost for the world at large.


A lumber clearing operation at work

The root of the problem


Today there are sustainable certifications available for the tropical hardwood importers in the US, but unfortunately the rule of law is generally weak in many of the countries where these woods are harvested, and the certification process is often subverted by the government officials in charge of certifications and the lumber companies themselves. Illegal lumber harvesting operations, green washing and greed combine to continue to degrade the critical forest land where many of the most glorious tropical hardwoods are harvested and insert themselves into the legitimate supply stream.


A stump with setting sun in background

A better way forward


To become a better builder and shepherd for future generations I made a commitment to change my building habits. Most of the slabs we build with today are custom milled by me on my own property, and always from salvaged trees. This allows me to select the most desirable characteristics of the whole tree and highlight them in my milling process; knots, burls, and twists in the tree trunk become design elements from the beginning of the milling process. In addition, I am lucky to have a state-of-the-art family-owned sawmill with a strong commitment to our shared values of milling only locally sourced salvaged trees around the corner that puts a wide range of exquisite examples of our native Texas species at my clients' fingertips.


Reforesting and planting trees

Becoming a shepherd


When we dry our lumber in our on-site solar kiln, it eliminates the heavy machinery and need to transport lumber off-site, reducing my carbon footprint considerably. We personally plant 2 trees for each tree I harvest and we carefully shepherd them through their tender young years to ensure they survive to maturity. Our children will inherit this land and for this reason we believe it is critical to make sustainable choices today for the future well-being of the entire ecosystem.



A group of folks working to plant trees

Supporting the change


At this critical juncture in world history, our commitment to the values that create a world worth handing down to future generations is what Carver Craftworks is all about. Change is hard and we can't just wing it. Ultimately, we can only hope to transform ourselves and our future by the application of skill, support and rigorous commitment to the choices that allow us to breathe life into the change we are all seeking. Join us today by embracing that commitment to a better and more equitable future for all the world.

 










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