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Jun 26

Eco-friendly Tips For Woodworkers

There is never an acceptable reason or excuse for disregarding or failing to protect the environment in which you live in. This is because any environmental problems such as pollution and water contamination are mostly as a result of neglect and misuse of the environment. Going green is a great way to preserve our environment and keep it clean and safe for generations to come. For woodworkers, there are certain tips you can put into use to achieve eco-friendliness in your shop:

1. Choose the right type of wood

By increasing your knowledge on wood, you will better differentiate those that are eco-friendly from those that are not. You will be able to choose the right wood for a particular application, which will minimize the need to use materials or procedures that are not eco-friendly such as pressure treatment. For example, there are certain wood varieties such as red cedar (western), white cedar (northern), and cypress that are resistant to insects and water. As such, these wood varieties require minimal to no wood treatment while still providing functional and appealing furniture that are indeed durable. On the other hand, wood that has been pressure treated leaches toxic substances into the environment.

Another type of wood that is eco-friendly is the black locust. Since it is rot resistant, it can be used for outdoor applications such as in railroad ties, fence posts and insulators without requiring additional treatment. Another eco-friendly tip you can practice in your workshop is using appropriate alternatives to wood from endangered species. For instance, oak and maple are good hardwood alternatives to endangered mahogany and teak from tropical rainforests.

2. Control the production of dust

By effectively collecting the dust you produce, you will make the air in your workshop cleaner. This not only helps the environment, but your health as well. The dust you collect can later be used for mulch or other eco-friendly applications. Poor collection of dust can lead to various health problems such as blood problems to skin, throat and eye irritations. There are certain kinds of wood that can also affect your health. Typically, dust from hardwoods are regarded more hazardous to one’s health that those from softwoods, except for red cedar, whose dust is very dangerous to human health.

Also, investing in a good system of eradicating dust in your workshop will improve the overall quality of your products. This is because their finishes will not have undesirable dust. Since your machinery will also be cleaner, you will reduce their maintenance costs.

3. Use natural lighting

Naturally lighting your workshop is an environmentally friendly practice that will also save on your electricity costs. The best way to take advantage of sunlight is to ensure that your workshop has many windows. By bouncing sunlight from the ceiling, you will be able to better illuminate areas away from glass windows. You can achieve this using blinds or louvers or by locating your windows near the ceiling. You can also use skylights to get more natural lighting in the interior areas of your shop.

Joy Maiywa is a professional freelance writer and blogger. She has worked with clients from different fields including technology, education, health, and business and entrepreneurship. She writes for Degree Jungle, a resource for university information.

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