Urban trees are an important and beautiful part of any city, but they are not immune to fierce storms or other events that sometimes require their removal. According to a 2001 USDA study, nearly 4 billion usable board feet of wood is removed from urban areas in the United States each year. Much of this material continues on as part of the waste stream, where it is burned as firewood, chipped up for mulch or sent directly to a landfill. Fortunately, companies like Meyer Wells are beginning to change the way people think about this unique resource.
Based out of Seattle, Meyer Wells works with City Tree Salvage to turn felled urban trees into striking pieces of furniture for residential and commercial use. In addition to working with reclaimed materials, the company also incorporates other sustainable practices, such as using low or zero-VOC finishes and renewable resources to power its shop. To minimize waste, scrap wood and paper are recycled and sawdust is available for local residents to use as mulch. Products are shipped wrapped in reusable blankets and all pieces are designed to be easily disassembled and reused or recycled at the end of their life. Even though the products can be expensive, Meyer Wells makes it a point to follow the "triple bottom line" business philosophy, which balances economic needs of the company with high social and environmental standards.
Check out the company's website for more information.
(Images: Meyer Wells)