A tree native to mountainous regions from North America to Asia, cedar is known for its strong properties. There are many species of cedar but western red is commonly used for gardening purposes.
- Whilst native to areas outside of the UK, the species was introduced to Britain, planted in the UK for timber. British red cedar wood will be locally sourced and reduce emissions in terms of transport.
- Whilst some species of cedar are endanger, the western red cedar in Britain is not.
- The wood is durable and naturally resistant to fungi, due to natural preservatives.
- Cedar woods can be found FSC certified.
- The wood is usually reasonably priced.
- Imported red cedar tends to be more durable than locally sourced, but not by too much. Imports will also have more impact on the environment due to the amount they will travel.
- Cedar imported from non-certified sources and from abroad may have further environmental impacts, threatening habitats along with indigenous cultures.
Whilst not an actual wood, bamboo is a sturdy and strong plant in the grass family. There are many species of bamboo, found growing in climates from tropical to temperate, most bamboo species can be found in east and southeast Asia.
- A light and tough material. (ref)
- It is a fast growing grass that can be harvested quickly. (ref)
- Bamboo as a crop can be very sustainable, growing quickly and not needing fertilisers. The roots regenerate, meaning they can grow back swiftly and do not need to be replanted. (ref)
- By using bamboo, no wood will need to be harvested, wood can take decades to grow back, whereas bamboo is a lot quicker. (ref)
- Bamboo can grow in less desirable areas and soil types, potentially even abandoned land. (ref)
- Despite not being a wood, it is possible to obtain FSC certified bamboo. (ref) From these source, bamboo can be trusted to be sustainably produced.
- Bamboo can emit 35% more oxygen than trees. Whilst also absorbing a lot of CO2, meaning it can be a very good in the fight against climate change. (ref)
- The type of bamboo needed grows in hotter climates, meaning that it will need to be shipped to the UK. Depending on the method used, this can have an effect on the environment.
- It is unknown the extent bamboo is utilised, just because it can be sustainable, doesn't mean it always is, we need to ensure there are management schemes in place to maintain sustainability. (ref)
- Forests can be damaged to obtain bamboo. (ref)
- Whilst bamboo does not need fertilisers, some farmers are using them to maximise the yield. (ref)
A fast growing grass, the material can be harvested quickly with no use of fertiliser, as bamboo can grow in poor quality soils. This means it can be harvested sustainably, and can take pressure off of forest and plantation harvesting. Bamboo also absorbs a lot of CO2 and despite being a grass, it can be FSC certified. However, one of the biggest drawbacks is the fact that the grass will need to be transported into the UK, and depending on the fuel type, this can have a negative effect on the environment. Data regarding the amount of bamboo harvested and how it is harvested is scarce, and this may be unsustainable depending on the scale. Therefore, certified Bamboo is most likely to be sustainably managed. Wood can serve as an alternate to bamboo, Acacia being an example.