There is a lot of attention being paid by the general media to environmental
impact in particular Carbon Footprint. The impact we all have on the environment
is a vast and complex subject. Each living organism on this planet has an
impact. As human beings we tend to have the greatest impact, be it from running
the children to school to the business we run.
Although related I have discussed the Carbon Footprint issue separately here.
Wood is a natural product, in its crowing cycle it absorbs Carbon from the
environment. So if you use wood as a fuel its carbon footprint is zero. However
if you use wood for say a Tapestry bobbin its carbon footprint is negative i.e.
there is carbon locked in the wood. The above is a simplified view as energy is
used in the transportation and processing of the wood. However the same is true
of other resources we use.
So in comparison to say the plastic in a child’s toy made in China or the flat
screen TV made in Taiwan, wood even from Brazil has a very low carbon footprint.
This is a much more difficult and far reaching topic. It ranges from
deforestation to energy consumption to pollution. As a small business I use
relatively small amounts of energy and consumables. As always I buy with the
environment in mind. My waste is 95% wood, most of which is burnt for heating.
My shavings are given to my landlord for bedding for his daughter’s horses.
One of the main concerns people have when buying an item made from wood
particularly exotic hardwoods is deforestation. It should be noted that most of
the deforestation particularly in Brazil is the result of land clearance for
farming, some is indiscriminate logging.
The United Kingdom has signed the CITES treaty and more importantly
adheres to it.
I am a small firm so cannot source my exotic wood directly so I only buy from
suppliers that operate an active environmental policy. That is to say they
source their exotic wood from sensitively managed plantation or from
environmentally conscious logging company and where possible the indigenous
When this type of policy is operated it can in fact have a positive effect on
the environment. The placement of a greater value on the trees themselves helps
to resist the pressures to clear fell and encourages the proper management of
the forests. So buy an exotic hardwood bobbin or spindle and help support the
So to sum up compared to most other resources we use, wood is a very
environmentally friendly product. This taken with an active policy to buy from
ethically managed sources means you can buy an IST Crafts product knowing that
you are having the minimum impact on the environment.