Out of all the different building materials, wood is the most energy conserving and is the only material that is 100% reusable, recyclable, biodegradable, and renewable. Steel, aluminum, plastic, and concrete are frequently thought of as wood substitutes. It is often incorrectly assumed that using these products will help protect our forests. However, we cannot grow more iron ore to make steel, bauxite to make aluminum, petroleum to make plastic, or limestone to make concrete. These materials are mined or extracted from the earth, never to be replaced again. Even recycled wood substitutes contain large percentages of virgin, nonrenewable materials.
Every time we use a product from a nonrenewable resource, we are diminishing the earth’s ability to sustain us. Wood roofing and siding, however, is made from a resource that can be planted, harvested, and planted again and again. Wood is the choice for a sustainable future. Mills that manufacture cedar shakes and shingles contribute to the replanting and maintaining of our natural resources. The province of B.C. has some of the highest standards and toughest regulations in the harvesting of Western Red Cedar.