Sustainable Wood Harvesting

Posted on February 1, 2018Leave a comment

Forested areas that provide wood are resources that must be carefully managed to ensure a continuing supply for the current population, as well as an increasing population in the future. Harvesting wood to ensure sustainability requires a careful evaluation of current resources and accurate growth data on various types of trees, in order to determine how much can reasonably be used in the present and what amounts need to be replenished for future use.

The Growing Move Toward Sustainability

A “sustainable yield” of a natural asset like wood from forests is defined as the amount that can be extracted without diminishing the base of capital itself. That is, you should only be removing an amount that can be restored within a reasonable amount of time for continued use. In the case of trees, the time frame can be significant, particularly when calculating woods that take many years to develop.

Choosing Sustainable Woods

Choosing woods for building needs depends on the type of wood used and the growth rate of the trees in question. For example, oak and hickory trees take hundreds of years to achieve full growth, although many are harvested before their maturity. In contrast, birch and pine take one-third to one-half as long as oak to reach maturity. Cherry trees and maple trees have fairly short lifespans. These trees have varying color tones, which may go in and out of style. However, if you choose woods that have a shorter lifespan, they will be able to be regrown more quickly. Bamboo, which is actually a grass, not a tree, is a versatile and sustainable wood that can be used for many different building purposes that does not deplete the hardwood forests.

Improving Forest Sustainability In the Future

Forestry is a long-term enterprise that requires considerable thought about the market needs and prices of today, as well as the preserving a dependable store of wood for the future of quality home furnishings. As the forestry and wood industries go forward, greater emphasis is being placed on composite products that reduce the amount of wood that is used. Countries are putting more thought into how forest lands are used for recreation and have begun instituting programs and building strategies that minimize the damage to forests. In addition, conservation services are working in tandem with owners of forestland to implement restoration programs that will help to maintain adequate tree growth for the future years.

As the public becomes more educated on the importance of forest areas in the health and well being of the human population, sustainability in building will be the norm, rather than a new idea. Individuals who are currently involved in building properties can advance the progress of sustainable construction practices by taking active steps to choose woods that easily replenish the supply of usable trees in the environment. These steps will help maintain a healthy supply of wood for the generations to come.

The Top Electric Cars on the Market

Posted on January 7, 2018January 25, 2018Leave a comment

Electric vehicles are more popular today than ever. There are a variety of reasons that consumers are in the market for electric vehicles which include, but are not limited to: sustainability factors, cost of fuel and lifetime of vehicle. The following in no particular order, is a list of the top 5 electric vehicles on the market today:

  • Tesla Model S
  • Chevy Volt
  • Nissan Leaf
  • BMW i3
  • Tesla Model X

Tesla Model S

The starting price for the base model of the Tesla Model S is $68,000. The most basic version of this car can travel up to 210 miles on one charge but if you are willing to pay for upgrades the Model S can travel an impressive 315 miles on a single charge. To almost eliminate your fuel cost, Tesla offers free charging at any of it’s available superchargers. Locations in this supercharger network can be found on their website or can be searched within the vehicle itself.

Chevy Volt

The starting price for the base model of the Chevy Volt is $33,220. This is a hybrid car that runs on gasoline one the battery loses charge but on battery alone this vehicle can travel 53 miles.

Nissan Leaf

The starting price for the base model of the Nissan Leaf is $29,990. This all electric vehicle is rated to travel up to 150 miles on a single charge and is the cheapest vehicle on this list.

BMW i3

The starting price for the base model of the BMW i3 is $44,450. The base model of the i3 can travel around 83 miles on a single charge while upgrades in the vehicle can extend this range to upwards of 97 miles without having to recharge.

Tesla Model X

The starting price for the base model of the Tesla Model X is $79,500. The base model can travel up to 237 miles on a single charge but with upgrades the Model X can travel upwards of 289 miles on a single charge. Similar to the Model S, the Model X can be charged for free at any of the charging stations offered in the Tesla Supercharger network.

If you’re in the market for one of these electric vehicles then you are in luck. The tax overhaul recently passed by congress has kept the $7,500 federal tax incentive for electric car owners. Many thought that this incentive would be taken away in the tax bill but in the end it made the final cut. The age of electric vehicles is just beginning which means that the list above will only grow with time.

6 Ways to Stay Green During the Holidays

Posted on December 23, 2017January 25, 2018Leave a comment

The holidays are a time for sharing and spending time with loved ones. Although we look forward to preparing the perfect atmosphere, we often forget about how to keep our environment green. Put these 5 tips in a frequented area, like on the front of your refrigerator, and remember that staying green is a year-round project.

1. Buy one or more potted Christmas trees.

Live trees can give you an intense feeling of Christmas. However, at the end of the season we remove the ornaments and lights and toss this tree away. Try something different this year and purchase one or more potted trees that can continue growing for 2-3 years. Although smaller than a normal 6-footer, you can add the spirit of Christmas in more than one room. You can either replant outdoors or use in your home as different holiday decor throughout the year.

2. Battery-free is better.

Instead of stocking up on those little battery-powered toys and gadgets as gifts, think of items that do not require energy. Discarded batteries are an environment hazard. Kites, board games and books are great ideas for getting your kids away from battery waste use and waste.

3. Waste not and want not.

Instead of heading to a store to purchase an insignificant gift that will end up in someone’s closet, use your imagination to give a gift that you know will be used. For example, a fruit basket or a gift certificate to a local grocery store will be far more appreciated than a trinket that serves no purpose.

4. Remember your outdoor friends.

Instead of decorating an outdoor tree with lights that make your electric bill soar, think of the birds that are searching for their next meal. Use seed bells and pine cones covered in peanut butter to attract nature’s winged friends. The sight will be much more enjoyable than a few hours of artificial lights.

5. Reuse gift wrap wisely.

Garbage cans are always overflowing after Christmas morning. Filled with discarded wrapping paper and bows, most of this trash can be saved and reused. Carefully pick up the wrappings and save for the next year. Paper and bows will take up little space and can save you a ton on money on next year’s holiday budget.

6. Send Christmas cards with meaning.

Walk past the displays of holiday cards and search for cards that have used recycled materials. You may also find cards that donate a portion of the sales to those in need or have been designed and made by non-profit organizations. Christmas cards are all about sending a message of love. Do your part to send a message to friends and family.

It is never too late to change your old habits of Christmastime. By using one or more of these ideas, your holiday season will feel more rewarding and the environment will be remembered.