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Wood products have so many cost and construction advantages over other building materials that it is easy to forget what an environmental asset it is to use wood. We sometimes forget that wood is naturally reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable. It is also the best insulator of all structural building materials, thus conserving finite fossil fuels and coal. It requires less energy to heat and cool a home that is built with wood. It also takes far less energy to transform trees into wood products than it does to manufacture steel, aluminum, masonry, or plastic products. Less pollution of the air and water occurs during the production of wood than in the production of non-wood materials. Wood is also renewable. Ores and petroleum used for non-wood products, once used, are not renewable. They are gone forever. Trees, however, are forever.
Contrary to what alarmists say, America is not running out of trees. More trees are grown in the U.S. each year than are harvested or lost to disease, insects, or fire. A third of America is covered with trees today, which is more than it had 70 years ago. Trees are being planted at the rate of nearly five million a day - five trees a year for every American. Finally, remember that a growing forest removes the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, while giving off life-sustaining oxygen. Can you think of a better environmental exchange than that?