In today’s throwaway culture, wanting to have things that will last and be more sustainable is on the rise. Woodworking is actually something that can be a part of wanting to be more ecological and sustainable! Making your own furniture that is built to last is better than having to replace the same cheap pieces that break every few years. Re-purposing and reusing old materials to create something gives new life to something that might have been thrown away!
We’ve rounded up our favorite tips for how to include sustainability in woodworking!
1. Pool your tools
One of the biggest difficulties can be having all of the tools you might need for any given project. Not to mention the costs of some tools and in larger cities, where garages and basements can be rare, lack of storage space. By using a space like My Own 2 Hands, you have fewer things to buy and store for just yourself. Sharing tools and equipment with a makerspace means fewer resources are needed to manufacture them and makes more sense from an environmental standpoint!
2. Buy Sustainable Lumber
Here at My Own 2 Hands, we are big believers in ethically sourced wood! That’s why we have partnered with Purpose and Pine. With them, we stock an inventory of reclaimed and salvaged lumber, pre-fabricated steel from recycled and scrap material, as well as beetle-kill pine. Because all of their lumber is locally and sustainably sourced, each item is a part of Colorado history. Our customers get to continue the story.
Another option when you are purchasing wood is to look out for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification logo. This logo guarantees that the wood is from responsibly managed forests. You can also source wood from a salvage shop or materials re-seller.
3. Reuse materials and scrap wood
In a makerspace, there inevitably ends up being a lot of scrap pieces. Rather than just tossing them, why not put them to good use? We save the scraps in our shop so that anyone can take what they need! From little pieces for that one little thing you need, to even some bigger pieces that just weren’t needed, you can remake them!
Another great way to reuse material is by repurposing old furniture and projects! From using old pallets to upcycling a thrift store find there are a lot of ways to stay sustainable.
4. Measure twice, cut once
You know how that old saying goes, but when it comes to sustainability it is very important! By double-checking and being careful about cuts and materials usage, you will inevitably waste fewer materials!
5. Find eco-friendly paints, stains, and varnishes
One of the big parts of woodworking is how you finish your piece. Usually this involves a lot of paints, stains, and varnishes. There are a lot of great options out there and great resources like this one to help you decide what works best for you and the environment! Places online like Green Building Supply or local to Denver places like Casa Verde Paint have great options!
6. Dispose responsibly
First, it is best to properly store any finishes you plan to keep using so that they do not dry out. My Own 2 Hands has proper finishing storage you can use while you are working on your project in our shop. Once you are finished with it, make sure you properly dispose of your paints, stains, and varnishes so that they do not contaminate the soil or end up in the water system. Check with your local disposal company to see how you can properly dispose your finishes.