There are many ways to ‘green up’ a woodworking business, from the products and materials you choose to use, to how you source some of the equipment and machinery you use. With pressure on everyone in society to become more environmentally friendly, your woodworking business can make some small changes that will drive it towards more sustainable practices that won’t break the bank and will gain credit amongst customers for doing your bit.
A more sustainable and environmentally friendly future for your woodworking business
- Consider pooling resources with similar businesses if you can share equipment you don’t need all the time. Instead of buying new every time you need a particular piece of equipment, why not see if you can borrow or share with other woodworkers, especially if you only need the tool for one or two small jobs?
- If a sharing scheme isn’t possible, consider whether you need the equipment to be new. Choosing used or refurbished equipment is a great way to extend the life of machinery and tools that would otherwise be wasted. Just be sure to choose a reputable supplier such as Calderbrook Woodworking Machinery, experts in new, used and refurbished woodworking machinery, to ensure you access high-quality, reliable products that fit the bill perfectly.
- Wherever possible, buy sustainably sourced wood. Salvaging wood locally is a great way to repurpose wood and can save you money. With many buildings being renovated, the opportunity to buy reclaimed wood is a beautiful way to bring unique creativity into a project and extend the life of the wood that otherwise may just be burnt. Check out your local lumber mills. If you have to search further afield, choose woods such as maple, mahogany, pine,and white ash, under the Forest Stewardship Council, over less sustainable woods such as ebony and Burmese teak.
- Find eco-friendly alternatives for the chemicals that harm the environment. Paints, stains, fillers and cleaners that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOC) are better for your health and mean you can be sure that you are doing the best you can to protect the environment from the long impact that some chemicals leave on the atmosphere before it breaks down.
- Reduce the waste you often find yourself with because of the lure of a bulk buy. Although it may seem more cost-effective to buy in bulk, only do so if you can be sure you will use all of the products you buy in one or two projects. If you do need to store products or materials, make sure to do so correctly so that it remains in good condition. If you can’t use the amount you have, why not donate to other woodworkers or local good causes? If you are faced with disposing of a chemical product as a last resort, make sure to do so responsibly.
- You will inevitably have some waste wood, so try to have a plan to use it up with another project. Set up a sideline of additional products you can make from the scraps. Many window boxes, bird boxes, and similar projects can turn small scraps into valuable items. Use a chipper to turn wood into chips that can mulch your garden, help out a local community space, or turn waste wood into fuel. Donate or use even the smallest pieces of leftover wood.
Give Your Customers What They Want
Green consciousness is growing among consumers, with research showing that 88% of consumers want brands to help in the drive to reduce their environmental footprint, so why not let your customers know in a blog or advertising the steps you are taking towards a greener future?