Can a company sell products made from trees and still be environmentally friendly?
At stair-treads.com, we believe the answer is yes! How is this possible? Read on to find out what we are doing to keep thousands of pounds of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) out of our atmosphere; how we ensure hundreds of gallons of dangerous chemicals and solvents never find their way into our streams and rivers; and how we ensure that every log harvested for our stair treads originates from a legally harvested, properly managed forest.
This is our planet too, and that's exactly why we believe in using our natural resources responsibly. When managed properly, our forests and other natural resources will be available for our children, grandchildren, and many more generations to come while giving us lasting beauty in our homes today.
Now, even our website is hosted by an environmentally friendly company! The servers that host our website are powered by wind power. Host Gator has done a remarkable job by increasing the efficiency of their servers and purchasing wind energy credits to offset 130% of the energy used in our web hosting. See the article from Host Gator green hosting.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
"Volatile organic compounds(VOCs) are organic chemical compounds that have high enough vapor pressures under normal conditions to significantly vaporize and enter the atmosphere...VOCs are sometimes accidentally released into the environment, where they can damage soil and groundwater. Vapours of VOCs escaping into the air contribute to air pollution." (Wikipedia)
A primary source of VOCs in the finishing business is the actual finish used. Many "DIY'er Grade" and even professional grade finishes emit a high level of VOCs during the drying process. This is because of the solvents used to facilitate a quick drying process. Our Diamond Coat II finish is a UV cured finish and emits no VOCs during the curing process. In fact, Diamond Coat II will not dry at all until the UV light flash-cures the top-coat!
Solvents and Dangerous Chemicals
A byproduct of any process using industrial solvents and chemicals always has the possibility of hazardous spills and accidents. Every process that we perform has been thoroughly tested to ensure that we never accidentally release and cleaners, solvents, or other dangerous chemicals into our environment that could find their way into our streams, lakes, and rivers. We make sure that any disposal company we contract is certified to comply with any applicable local, state, and environmental laws. That half-empty can of finish that was used to sand and finish your stairs on site may end up in a storm drain somewhere after the crew leaves your house! You can rest assured that stair treads from stair-treads.com are finished in an environmentally responsible manner.
Responsible Timber Management
100% of the lumber used to manufacture our prefinished stair treads is harvested from plantation grown trees. This way we can ensure that our lumber is harvested legally, and that for every tree that is harvested, a new sapling in planted. We never buy lumber from low cost "one time special" dealers that can not provide the origin of their lumber. Granted, we may be able to save a few dollars, but we could not guarantee that the lumber was harvested legally in an environmentally responsible manner.
By constructing our stair treads from multiple staves of lumber glued together, we accomplish two things:
1) We provide a tread that has superior resistance to cupping and moisture response
2) We can obtain a much greater utilization of lumber. By varying the width of each stave, there is almost no waste! With less waste, less lumber is needed to produce a given amount of stair treads, and the less lumber needed, the fewer tress harvested for lumber. While we are not single-handedly responsible for much of the timer trade worldwide, we are doing our small part to help protect the environment in which we live.