Awards & Engraving

December '17

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A&E DECEMBER 2017 • 55 like "recycle," "reclaim," "sustainable," "organic," and "going green" are often used interchangeably, with many agreeing that the general gist is to cut back on environ- mental damage. What does this have to do with the awards industry? It's probably not too far- fetched to assume many awards retailers have received customers inquiring after recycled products. It's also probably safe to assume that a few of these same businesses have implemented some "green" practices of their own. Nowhere is this more appli- cable than with wood products. But just where is the line of definition and how is it drawn? Let's take a look. KNOW THE DIFFERENCE There's no better place to start learning about environmental practices than knowing what each term means when applied to wood products. Classifying recycled wood as sustainable is murky at best, and inaccurate at worst. If you're going to sell these types of wood products to your customers, you need to know what you're talking about. Barry Stewart, Colorado Heirloom, offers some talking points. "Recycled and sustain- able are two distinct, different products," he clarifies. "Almost all wood products manu- factured in the USA made from domestic lumber are from sustainable forests. Recycled or reclaimed wood is wood that has been used for other purposes like furniture, fencing, etc., and has been removed from its original purpose, cleaned up, and is now ready for a new purpose, i.e. boxes, plaques, etc." What does it mean to be sourced from a sustainable forest? "Sustainable wood is lumber that has been harvested from a forest that is certified as a sustainable forest," Stewart continues. "That means that great care is taken to ensure the forest is managed so the trees are not just strip- harvested, leaving the area to erode and nature (wildlife) thrown out of balance." And while there are a lot more details that go into this, that is the basic difference.

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