To begin this series, I want to talk for a minute about one of my favorite things at Green Conscience, a topic with which I have a bit more experience than most. The reclaimed lumber that Karen sells at Green Conscience might just be the ultimate example of upcycling. Previously used in bleacher benches, barn beams and antiquarian houses from all over the northeast, this wood has been aged in the most natural way possible, revealing a finish and patina that can't be matched by newer woods. Reclaimed piece by piece, each stock of wood is unique, with its own distinct history.
The sustainability implications of reclaimed lumber are immense. Aside from transport, nearly all of the supply side elements that give wood its carbon footprint are removed. When you buy reclaimed lumber from Green Conscience, you're leaving a tree untouched in the forest. Beyond that, you're keeping the carbon emissions from one more set of logging machines and trucks out of the air.
Reclaimed lumber also represents one of the most unique conversation pieces you can have in your home. While modern flooring can often be machined into looking like it is hand-made, reclaimed lumber is often of an age where it truly was. It has also been worn in an almost unrepeatable pattern by the individual history of each reclamation. The patina and grain of some of these pieces are often outstanding, revealing exceptional character in each board. For many years in my youth, I worked at a local lumber yard, and over the years I've heard a number of contractors (particularly skilled individuals and old-timers whose abilities I respect immensely) tell me that wood that reaches market now is eminently sub-par when compared to the materials they worked with decades ago. It wasn't until I saw some of these reclaimed samples that I knew what they were talking about. The key is old growth versus new growth: many trees that are cut now are simply younger than those that were harvested in the 1950s and 1960s. While some of the reclamations that come through Green Conscience are even older than that, the difference is still clear, and if you take the time to stop in and check out what Karen has to offer, you'll see what I'm talking about.
Whether you're looking for yellow pine, douglas fir, or something a bit more esoteric, don't hesitate to stop by Green Conscience and see what Karen has to offer.