Today is Blog Action Day!. The theme is the environment – something that’s very important to me. So I will toss out a question I’ve been meaning to ask LJ’s since I joined.
What do people here think about using exotic species of wood – specifically rainforest woods? I’ve looked into the certification a bit an been unconvinced that it offers the amount of assurance of enviro-healthy harvest and transport that I’d like.
I travelled to Costa Rica earlier this year. It was a beautiful trip and is a beautiful country. But what I kept noticing were all the grassy or scrubby fields where there has historically been forest. Some, or much, of this may be caused by conversion of the land for cattle grazing. Some of the trees in Costa Rica, such as Cocobolo, are protected. Yet you see Cocobolo in every gift shop. My friends down there say the locals still cut it because there is little enforcement and they can make good money from it. It seems that those woods will still be cut as long as there is any demand. Thus even if I buy certified Cocobolo (or other rainforest species) it decreases the world supply, which in turn increases the value of every Cocobolo tree still standing if someone were to choose to cut it for market. It’s unfortunate. But I can’t, with a clear conscience, use these useful and beautiful woods.
I’d love to hear dissenting opinions on this.