How can you make your woodworking more sustainable with the drive towards net zero? It is actually pretty easy, and you undoubtedly won't be alone. Customers are driving a need for businesses to become more sustainable, and some will even refuse to buy from companies that haven't caught up with the changes it takes to work in a more environmentally friendly way.
Our tips for making your woodworking more sustainable may seem obvious, but we hope it gets you thinking and confident to make the changes if you haven't already done so. If you have made the changes, that's great, but it's worth reading on for more ideas.
1 – Choose material and equipment wisely
This applies to everything you buy and use. From the wood you buy, where you source screws and glue and the products you use for cleaning, staining, painting and filling!
Check out your local timber merchant and the wealth of reclaimed timber that could make the perfect characterful addition to a project. Also, look for sustainably sourced timber, wood showing the Forest Stewardship Council (FOC) logo, which is likely to include the more sustainably harvested woods such as mahogany (not Brazilian), maple, pine, douglas fir and white ash, whilst avoiding the less sustainable ebony and Burmese teak or Brazilian mahogany. Buying locally will reduce miles and carbon footprints to get what you need where you can.
Chemicals, fillers and wood finishing products are changing. Many manufacturers are striving towards greener products and greater sustainability, so it could be time to recheck packaging and brands carefully and seek alternatives if needed. Wherever possible, purchase and support those businesses also doing their bit for the planet.
2 – Reduce, reuse or repurpose
Minimise waste by looking at the offcuts you create. There are many ways to use leftovers, and if you don't have the time, consider donating to a local community group or enthusiast who can craft something from your waste wood. If you have the time, why not add a product line? Small birdhouses, shelving or planters can all use up otherwise useless wood offcuts. Local colleges or schools may love to receive a gift of your offcuts, or you could chip them for garden mulch or create fuel blocks. With so many ideas, there need never be such a thing as scrap wood in the future.
3 – Sharing
Look at the tools and machinery you have, the equipment you would like to have and see if you can set up a sharing scheme with fellow woodworkers. If you have items you don't use that often, it's likely others will. Look for ways to share to access a greater range of machinery and tools without buying them. If you want to add to your equipment, look at our range of used and refurbished tools and machinery to avoid buying new ones unless you absolutely must. You can be assured that refurbished equipment is just as good, and can help you save money or get better equipment within your budget, so it’s more sustainable for your wallet too. This will significantly improve sustainability as you employ equipment that otherwise would have no value.