We have to shift our emphasis from economic efficiency and materialism towards a sustainable quality of life and to healing of our society, of our people and our ecological systems. -Janet Holmes à Court
Seems like everyone has an opinion on how to respect the environment. Some insist that it's an either/or situation. Either there's protection or there are jobs. Others want to go back to a more primitive existence, a simpler past. Does keeping the economy going necessitate a disrespect of the environment? Does protecting the environment require the loss of life-easing technologies? Or is it just a question of controlling waste? If nothing else, with the world's human population set to increase 30% in thirty years to 9 billion, it should be clear that at the very least the environmental balance of our planet is going to be sorely tested.
At RWF we believe in reducing waste as much as possible as well as practicing as green a harvest as possible. First of all, we acquire our logs locally. There is no clear cutting involved and if a possible tree was downed in a non-sustainable way, we pass on it (see more on this on our page Respect the Tree). Once our logs are cut they are aged by natural air drying, a multi-year process that has a negligible carbon footprint, followed by the briefest time possible in the kiln.
When you receive your RWF shipment you might be surprised by the decidedly heterogeneous packaging. We don't indulge our egos with beautifully monogrammed packaging; instead, we save all the packaging from the packages we receive and re-use it, even if the packaging in question is not made of the most sustainable materials. From crates to paper to the pallets our neighbors put out for garbage collection, we keep them all and reuse them.
After we debark our logs we need to dispose of the bark. Local horse owners love woodworkers' shavings, which is great. However we do many pieces of walnut furniture and walnut scraps are not indicated for equestrian use since walnut can lame a horse. But there's always a solution, and in this case, a local farmer uses our walnut scraps to mulch his fence rows. Mulching, of course, controls weeds without pesticide use while aerating and enriching the soil.
RWF is a member of 1% for the Planet and we also make donations to local environmental efforts. For instance, to help the storm ravaged community of Phil Campbell, Alabama we took the disaster-downed trees, cut the logs and are air drying them, after which we will make beautiful furniture which will be auctioned as a town fundraiser. This is just one example of the efforts we make daily to be environmentally conscientious and provide local and global aid whenever we can.
At RWF we also respect the environment of our employees by providing a living wage, safe working conditions, and ensuring they have quality time with their families. We believe respect for the environment is not only a family affair, but it also informs every facet of what we do.