Americans are becoming more environmentally conscious, and we at Kamps often get questioned about our use of wood as a resource. It’s common knowledge that trees are a good thing. They have many benefits for the environment. They reduce carbon dioxide in the air, capturing it and using it to produce a material that has countless practical uses: wood. Planting trees will stop soil erosion and water runoff. Trees provide a habitat for wildlife when alive, and when they die, they nourish countless animals before again becoming a part of the soil.
So cutting them down to make things, even very useful things, is bad, right?
Absolutely not. On the contrary, lumber harvesting in the United States is done carefully and with an eye toward the future. Over the past half century or more, so many trees have been planted that in 2007 there were 119 percent more hardwood trees than in 1953. Currently two trees are planted for every one removed, and more trees die and rot naturally in forests than are harvested for the hardwood industry.
For businesses like Kamps that rely on wood resources to continue, it only makes sense to support tree planting and sustainable harvesting. Without trees we can’t manufacture wooden pallets, so guidelines on planting and logging that increase the number of trees available definitely benefit us as well in the long run.
What about plastic? Since plastic is both reusable and recyclable, isn’t it better to use than wood?
No. Wood is both a reusable and a renewable resource. While sustainable lumber practices are important to promote and maintain, trees grow on their own in nature and use the resources already available to them water, the sun, and soil to produce wood. Plastic, on the other hand, requires at least one nonrenewable resource oil. Plastic is manufactured from hydrocarbon gas liquids and natural gas. It does not occur in nature, and it does not biodegrade.
While that does mean that plastic pallets can be used again and again, once they are damaged or broken, it is a lot harder to reuse that material again than it is to reuse wood. Broken wood pallets can be broken up and used to repair other pallets or ground up to use as mulch or as a fuel source.
Wood is a very energy efficient building material. It literally makes itself. For these reasons Kamps is both happy and proud to use it as our main product ingredient, and we are glad to let our customers know why.