18th December 2020
Sprucing things up for Christmas?
Written by Ellie
It is the time of year when a tree of your choice gets welcomed inside! While we don’t sell Christmas Trees, we certainly admire their beauty, especially of course when decorated (and perhaps re-decorated, depending on your level of Tinselitis). While the tradition has been going on for centuries, it has recently come under increasing stick (pun intended) for environmental reasons. So! is it a Tree-mendous to purchase a real Christmas tree, or is it better to go Fir a fake one? Yes, I can stop with the terrible, terrible, tree jokes now…
As with most things it is not a clear-cut answer, but there are several factors you could look at if you were worried about the footprint of your Christmas tree. The best advice is always simple, buy as local as you can, and if that just means its grown in Britain, then great! Christmas Trees are harvested much like anything else – they are grown specifically for this purpose, so don’t worry about mass deforestation of pre-existing forests. A 6ft tree typically takes 10 years to grow, so that is a long time for your tree to be sucking in the CO2 and releasing Oxygen – which is a great thing for the planet. As well as this, buying a British Christmas tree helps our economy by providing jobs in the agricultural & forestry sector, as well as shelter for birds and wildlife.
However, if you already have an artificial tree, The Carbon Trust advises to use this as long as possible – the intensive methods to produce artificial trees can take up to 10 years to pay off – so keep looking after it in order for it to be with you for a lifetime! If you wanted to take your environmental credentials up a notch then buying a potted Christmas Tree – or one with a root ball, can prove to be a great way to use the same “real” tree every year. There are even places that look after your tree for you! And remember at the end of the festive period, always look at sustainable ways to recycle your tree, by trying your hand at repotting it for next year (some say it has worked!!), chopping it up and making a bug haven, or arranging a collection from specialist recycling companies.
Whatever you decide to do this year, we hope you have a lovely Christmas, it has certainly been a difficult year, so go easy on yourself. And if it has all got on top of you, take a breather, get some fresh-air, and have a walk among the trees.
Merry Christmas from all of us at WoodPoint & thank you for continuing to support our small British Business.
15th September 2020
How to do your bit for the environment (and not let the big problems overwhelm you).
Written by Ellie
WoodPoint as a company has environmental values at its core, and it means that we have a wide interest in everything to do with wildlife, ecology and environmental issues at home and abroad. Having watched David Attenborough’s programme on the facts around extinction it got me thinking more about how I live my life, and what I can do. Having always cared about the environment and done an environmental degree, I already knew much of what was in the documentary, but seeing those images brought it all back to my mind.
As a society so many problems are brought to our attention that I sometimes feel, the problems begin to compete! Which one deserves the most of your attention? (And also, importantly how do we stay mildly chipper in our day to day lives whilst trying to save the world?! HELP!)…However on a scrolling session on Facebook (oops) I stumbled upon a quote from Dr Jane Goodall “I like to envision the whole world as a jigsaw puzzle…if you look at the whole picture, it is overwhelming and terrifying, but if you work on your little part and know that people all over the world are working on their little bits, that’s what will give you hope”.
That quote stopped me in my tracks…it was just what I needed to see. Hope.
There is hope! And guess what! it also comes about because if we all work on our own little puzzle piece and we support each other in doing so, it all fits together to solve the bigger and much more overwhelming and devastating problems. It was like a switch went off in my brain, whilst the larger problems, climate change, biodiversity loss, the world burning sometimes seems too much to handle…swapping plastic milk bottles for glass would be fine…and trying to find grass fed meat, or products with sustainable soy / palm oil seemed manageable.
Half of my brain argues that these small actions aren’t going to save the Amazon rainforest from destruction…but who knows how many other puzzle pieces are doing exactly the same. Like one of the scientists said in the documentary, humans have always seen themselves as separate from the rest of the world, superior almost, but that isn’t true. We are part of the chain, and a massive part.. and we need to recognise that it isn’t just our world, it’s also owned by every living organism and we have to be their advocates.
If this year has taught us anything it is that we need to pull back, take stock and live a greener lifestyle by doing our bit and using sustainable resources. We hope that we are doing our bit by doing just that, and even though it might be a small piece of the puzzle, we hope that it helps you in your environmental goals too.
19th August 2020
Managing Woodlands in the UK – why do we need to do it?
Written by Ellie
One of the main reasons (or points!) behind WoodPoint, is that we wanted to embody our environmental and social values in our business. Using materials from within our own country, rather than importing from abroad is one of these, and as former “traditional” timber merchants, we know the variety and sources we are up against.
Managing woodlands in the UK by selective thinning is often misunderstood in the UK. When we see trees being cut down in our surrounding woodlands it can be hard to separate ourselves from the “save the trees”, “plant the trees” mantra that we’ve all grown up with! It can seem counterintuitive: that cutting down and removing trees is better than leaving them there. (Certainly, in some situations this attitude is warranted, and the situations in the Amazon and other such places are truly devastating). However, a large proportion of woodlands are not “managed” enough…. I know, it sounds weird…not ENOUGH trees being cut down, WHAT?? This is true! If we left our woodlands as-is, many of these lovely places would become dark, and dominated by larger trees, blocking sunlight and any new growth beneath. In turn this would mean variation in vegetation and wildlife species would ultimately decline, damaging the delicate balance of the woodland ecosystem.
Traditional forms of woodland management have been in decline over the past 50 years and as we have seen in other industries, mechanisation and cheaper imports are probably at the heart of it. Larger harvesting machines cannot afford to work in younger woodlands due to volume and yield, but thinning a forest at this key stage of a woodlands lifecycle is still so important for allowing space for growth, and sunlight through to the forest floor. We like to think that we are doing our bit by getting into these difficult areas and creating products that give this tree a new life (yay!).
We are not naïve though and having previously owned a timber merchant business, we know that there is a place for FSC imported wood at the moment…. but can we help bring the balance back? Absolutely!! That is why we are constantly innovating and looking at more useful ways to utilise these brilliant trees not only for tipi poles, but other rustic products.
Ultimately a woodland should serve a purpose for all, not just for humans and by helping to shape these woodlands into healthy, breathing ecosystems it benefits everyone.
6th July 2020
Woodpoint is a small business focused on BIG ideas.. we have strong values not only on the quality of our products and service, but also about the wider picture on the environment, wildlife, social enterprise, employment and sustainability.
We hope to explore some of these themes in our blogs, alongside lots more info about us and our products, so stay tuned!