Go green with real wood

So many decking materials in stores today...which one to choose?

If a beautiful, usable, long-lasting deck is your goal — and you’d like to do your part to protect the environment — then the choice is obvious: real, natural, authentic wood.

Wood has been a part of outdoor living for centuries: the first pine sawmill was at Jamestown about 400 years ago. Look around, so many historic homes and sites feature wood — because it’s always been one of the best building products on the market.

Wood is ever-present by the seashore (docks, marsh walkways, fishing piers, boardwalks), in the mountains (decks, arbors) and in backyards across the country (decks, gazebos, fences, trellises).

Wood plays a starring role in high-traffic places, such as the Santa Monica Pier, the Destin boardwalk in Florida and the Ocean City boardwalk in Maryland.

Look all around you at the beauty of wood — then bring that natural beauty home to your backyard.

A recent Life Cycle Assessment (cradle-to-grave study comparing pressure-treated wood with alternative wood/plastic composite decking) found that wood was, by far, the better product for the environment. A few findings from this study:

• Wood releases less greenhouse gases during production;

• Wood uses 14 times less fossil fuel than wood/plastic composite decking; and

• Wood decking production causes significantly less acid rain, smog and overall ecological impact than wood/plastic composite decking.

Additionally, pressure-treated wood comes from sustainable, well-managed forests — meaning the industry plants more trees each year than are harvested.

Fact is, U.S. forests are healthier and more numerous than they were 100 years ago.

Pressure-treated wood is rotand insect-resistant and readily available in both big-box stores and independent lumber dealers around the U.S.

Current tested and approved preservatives are safe for use around children and pets — even veggies in your raised garden beds.

For more information on using real wood in your backyard, the complete LCA study, free downloadable deck plans, inspirational pictures and easy do-it-yourself videos, please visit, on Facebook at “Wood” and on YouTube at

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2012-05-24 digital edition

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