Santa Barbara
81° F
Santa Maria
78° F
San Luis Obispo
79° F
74° F

Enrich your home with domestic hardwood

Published On: Nov 10 2011 10:14:11 AM CST
Updated On: Apr 15 2013 10:29:36 AM CDT
hardwood floor stairs

(NewsUSA) - More Americans might be driving hybrid cars and recycling, but their hardwood kitchen and living room floors can be just as critical to climate change.

No one knows exactly how much illegal hardwood enters the United States, but estimates range from $250 million to $375 million worth per year -- much of which is used for high-end flooring.

Most illegal hardwood comes from tropical rain forests, delicate ecosystems with high biodiversity. Tropical hardwoods protect the soil -- removing them prevents other plants from growing and allows rain to strip away nutrients from the soil. Studies have shown that rain forest deforestation accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gases.

In December 2008, the U.S. government amended The Lacey Act, its oldest wildlife protection statute, to discourage illegal hardwood imports. According to the amendment, anyone involved in the import, purchase or sale of illegal wood is subject to one to five years in prison and $100,000 to $500,000 in fines per violation.

The U.S. Customs Service monitors suspicious cargo, but too much wood is imported into the U.S. to catch every illegal shipment. However, consumers can take steps to avoid the purchase of illegal hardwood.

- Look for hardwood that is made in the U.S. Choosing American-sourced wood not only supports the country's economy, it helps to ensure that the hardwood is legally harvested from managed forests, which are a truly renewable resource.

- Beware of exotic wood products. Woods like Brazilian cherry or mongoy are much more likely to have been harvested illegally than non-exotic woods.

- Do your homework. Ask questions before purchasing your floor to make sure it is from a retailer that sources its hardwood products from a trustworthy, legal distributor.

- Consider domestic species of hardwood. Although woods like hickory, oak, birch and maple are grown in America, advanced staining techniques allow these species to have the exotic looks many homeowners desire without the risk of purchasing illegally harvested products.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Body of Isaiah Sanchez Recovered at Cachuma Lake

    Santa Barbara County sheriff rescue crews have found a body near the place where Isaiah Sanchez went missing.

  • Ellwood Fire

    Explosion at Goleta Apartment Complex Leaves One Man Hospitalized

    Santa Barbara County Fire crews responded to an explosion and fire at an apartment complex on 447 Ellwood Drive in Goleta.   Fire officials received the call at around 7:00 p.m. One person was injured and taken to the hospital with severe burns.  The apartment manager helped put out a small fire that broke out after the blast. The explosion and fire are still under investigation.  The fire did not spread to any adjoining apartments.

  • Santa Paula Reserve Police Officer Resigns After Posting Video About Bicyclists

    Volunteer posted a YouTube video joking about running over bicyclists.

  • dangerous dogs

    Orcutt Family Starts Petition to Change County Ordinance

    An Orcutt family is fighting to keep their dogs from being euthanized, and is now trying to change a county ordinance on aggressive dogs. The family has an online petition spreading their message on the internet in an effort to get the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisor's attention.

    Peggy Henning remembers the day her family welcomed Daisy and Duke into their family like it was yesterday.

    "They immediately just became part of the family," said Henning. "They were very friendly with all the guests we had coming over."

    But things changed when Daisy and Duke got loose. They liked chasing cats.

    "Dogs are pack animals and that is their default instinct," said Henning. "If they are bonded or litter mates, it intensifies that. They would get out of the confines of our house or yard and this instinct would come to the surface."

  • Juvenile Hall Court to Host Gang-related Murder Trial

    The so-called "U-Haul murder trial" is expected to be another high security, gang-related trial that requires extra time and money to make it work at the Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall courtroom which is seen as the most practical venue.

  • inspection_report_public_health_notice

    Health Inspectors Look Into Restaurant Bug

    Old Town Mexican Café in Old Orcutt has never failed an inspection in the past according to the Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services Department. On satruday several diners spotted bugs at the restaurant

  • Roundbout Giving Drivers in the Santa Ynez Valley a New Way Around

    An intersection that's become very busy because of its location near wine country and the Chumash Casino is now expected to be much safer.  The final phases of work on the roundabout in the Santa Ynez Valley are taking place.

  • New Family Friendly Tasting Room Opens in Solvang

     A new winery in Solvang recently opened their doors, and they are making their tasting room open to everyone.

  • Slideshow: Rescue Crews Find Body In Cachuma Lake

    Santa Barbara County sheriff rescue crews have found a body near the place where Isaiah Sanchez went missing.

  • Slideshow: Blondes VS Brunettes Charity Football Game

    A charity football game at the Polo fields in Carpinteria pits the Blondes vs Brunettes. The all-women football teams duked it out on Saturday to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association. Both teams fought fiercely but in the end, only one came out the victor.

    Photography by Oscar Flores.