With Australian consumers becoming increasingly aware of our environmental responsibility, there’s been an enthusiastic push towards seeking out sustainable alternatives to the things we use and buy. But it’s not just consumers who are making the change; many suppliers are stepping up and following suit.
The home improvement and decking industries are not exempt from the trend towards environmental consciousness; the market for sustainable timbers and composite boards has steadily grown.
Today a wide selection of decking products are available for consumers wanting a sustainable decking option.
What exactly is sustainable decking?
Sustainable decking is created with environmental care as a priority. This approach sees an environmental ethos applied from the beginning, when trees are planted, and continues at every step of the manufacturing process.
A sustainable approach to decking is as possible with natural timber decking as it is with composite decking. Read on to learn more about sustainability in the decking industry.
Sustainable Australian Timber Decking
100% sustainable timber decking starts with sustainable forests. This means the timber has been grown and harvested in an ecologically responsible manner.
Care is given to ensure that every tree that is cut down is replaced by another tree that’s either naturally grown or planted in place.
The process of sustainable care, however, does not stop there but forms part of a much larger process.
Due diligence is taken to make sure the environment which surrounds harvested trees is also left untouched and there is minimal disturbance to native flora and fauna.
Nowadays, timber sustainability is highly regulated to ensure that all suppliers maintain high standards. As such, to be classified as “sustainable” it’s required that timber be harvested from an Australian or globally certified sustainable forest.
Before buying timber decking check to make sure your timber decking has been certified by a reputable outfit, for example:
- Good Environmental Choice (Australia)
- Eco Select (Australia)
- Forest Stewardship Council (Global)
- WWF Global Forest and Trade Network (Global)
- Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (Global)
While there have been many successes in the sustainable forestry, there are a few challenges for sustainable forestry endeavours on a practical level – mainly because it takes a long time for trees to grow to maturity.
Another environmental cost to consider is the post-harvesting processing; most hardwood and softwood timbers will still need to be treated with chemical solutions and oils to seal the product and maintain a good condition over time.
Sustainable Australian Composite Decking
Composite decking is a sustainable product by nature. Made of a mix of wood sawdust and recycled plastic material (such as polyethylene or polypropylene), it helps repurpose plastic waste to create decking that will last for years.
Depending on the brand of composite decking, boards may also include alternative or additional materials, ranging from fibreglass to fibre cement.
All things considered, many brands of composite decking is environmentally friendly and most certainly sustainable.
Rather than allowing used plastic to go to the landfill, it proactively removes plastic waste from supply chains and integrates it into a high-quality decking product. Composite decking is a sought-after long-term investment for homes and commercial landscapes alike.
Composite decking has other advantages for the environment, too – its ongoing carbon footprint is minimal.
Since most composite timbers require minimal maintenance, there is no need to apply chemical-based sealants, stains or oils, some of which emit greenhouse gases over the life of the decking product.
If you want to choose a truly sustainable option yet consider yourself a bit of a timber ‘purist’ – that is, you truly want that virgin timber look for your deck – then don’t overlook composite. After all, composite products have come to a very long distance in the last decade.
Composite decking has an almost identical appearance to that of natural wood, and you can choose colours and wood-grain styles to colour match your taste and style.
In addition to the sustainability factor, the advantages of no maintenance decking cannot be overstated. Composite decking can look good as new over the long-term without anywhere close to the time and cost needed to maintain a timber deck.
Whether you end up choosing timber decking, composite decking, or reclaimed wood decking, the good news is there is a great deal of sustainable options for you to choose from for your decking.
At Decking Perth, we go to great lengths to ensure that the decking we sell is kind to the environment. From sustainable timber decking to eco-friendly composite decking, we are your one-stop shop for earth-friendly decking.
Learn more about our Sustainable World Badge and view Sustainable Forestry Resources and Associations now! Want to see how much decking will cost for your project? Get your free quote now!