Green Bookcases

  • Green wood furniture?
  • What's so green about that?
  • Aren't you cutting down trees and using toxic chemicals when you build and finish furniture?

Well yes...and No!

At Durham Bookcases we strive for quality, real wood furniture. This means that for every piece we make, we’re using a precious natural resource: wood. This also means that you only have to buy it once because what we build is made to last. So besides being a good long term investment, only having to buy a piece of furniture once means that you only have to consume resources one time. That’s environmentally friendly.

So practically how do we do green business?

Maximize the use of materials: less waste means more trees for you and me.

  • Tables: when we cut a sheet of plywood, there is usually a 2” x 96” strip of wood left over. We starting building tables and stools from these pieces.
  • 12” wide Cubes: we found that when we cut shelves we get lots of small pieces that are perfect shelves for a narrow cubbie. So we started building them.
  • Erosion control: sawdust and scrap wood is used for erosion control in severely eroded areas. This lessens the flow of sediments into local streams and keeps useful wood out of the dump.
  • Mulching: we’ve also made our own mulch, by chipping scraps. Again more uses, means less scrap wood in the dump.
  • Freebies: If you need small scraps for a project give us a call or come by. We’d be happy to see if we have some scrap that will help you.

Minimize use of energy: keep the lights on for others too

  • Manufacturing: We found that by cutting a small strip at the joints in our shelves and bookcases, we could save days of electricity spent on filling and sanding. Also working in cycles, means that we can keep power hungry equipment from running everyday.
  • Lighting: We updated the light fixtures in our 90+ year old building from T12 to T8 florescent fixtures which use less energy (and provide much more pleasant light).   We also try to keep as many lights off during the day as we can.

Water based finishes: easy to use and you don't get a headache.

  • General Finishes ( makes high quality water based stains and finishes. Water based means that we’re not using oil, we don’t need paint thinner to clean up, and its less toxic for our staff to work with.

These are some simple ways that we try to use resources wisely. We've also found that most of these practices also translate into profitability, either because we don't have to buy something, or because we've taken scraps and made them into something beautiful. These are some ways that green is good business.

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