So many decking materials in stores today ... which one to choose? If a beautiful, usable, long-lasting deck is your goal -- and you'd like to do your part to protect the environment -- then the choice is obvious: real, natural, authentic wood.
Wood has been a part of outdoor living for centuries; the first pine sawmill was at Jamestown about 400 years ago. Look around. so many historic homes and sites feature wood -- because it's always been one of the best building products on the market. Wood is ever-present by the seashore (docks, marsh walkways, fishing piers, boardwalks), in the mountains (decks, arbors) and in backyards across the country (decks, gazebos, fences, trellises). Wood plays a starring role in high-traffic places, such as the Santa Monica Pier, the Destin boardwalk in Florida and the Ocean City boardwalk in Maryland. Look all around you at the beauty of wood -- then bring that natural beauty home to your backyard.
A recent Life Cycle Assessment (cradle-to-grave study comparing pressure-treated wood with alternative wood/plastic composite decking) found that wood was, by far, the better product for the environment. A few findings from this study:
* Wood releases less greenhouse gases during production;
* Wood uses 14 times less fossil fuel than wood/plastic composite decking; and
* Wood decking production causes significantly less acid rain, smog and overall ecological impact than wood/plastic composite decking.
Additionally, pressure-treated wood comes from sustainable, well-managed forests -- meaning the industry plants more trees each year than are harvested. Fact is, U.S. forests are healthier and more numerous than they were 100 years ago.
Pressure-treated wood is rot and insect resistant and readily available in both big-box stores and independent lumber dealers around the U.S. Current tested and approved preservatives are safe for use around children and pets --even veggies in your raised garden beds.