Reduce your Thanksgiving Carbon Footprint

26 11 2008

girlWe all contribute to global warming when we do things like heat and cool our homes, drive our cars, and fly on airplanes.

In fact, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year, with the number of trips Americans take to and from destinations of 50 miles or more away increasing by 54% during the six days surrounding the holiday.

There’s no way around it: traveling miles and miles to share a single meal or weekend with family and friends may not be the greenest of ways to spend the Thanksgiving holiday. Yet that’s what the holiday is all about: close family ties, good food, great fun, and sharing precious time with those we love.

The good news?

With the holidays right around the corner, there’s still time to green your home so you can welcome friends and family in style and make a healthy impact on the environment as well.cat

Want a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint? Look down to your floors.

Carbon offsets and personal carbon reductions provide viable solutions to global warming. The Montados Cork Oak Forests are responsible for nearly 4.8 million tons of the world’s CO2 retention per year. Amorim’s annual production of wine stoppers alone retains over 25,000 tons of CO2. And based on calculations by Ecobusinesslinks.com, by choosing Wicanders cork oak flooring, consumers can participate in offsetting the emissions of over 7,042 cars every year.

legosAnd now that you all know that The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) has awarded five product lines of Wicanders Cork Oak Floors with its prestigious GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified® product performance certification, and that our floors are also FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified, the choice is clear: with Wicanders, you can have a green home and eat your turkey too!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

See you next time…
Team Wicanders

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The Green Microgym. Using Human Energy Wisely.

15 09 2008

If you live in Portland, Oregon and need to burn a few calories you may want to head over to The Green Microgym. Every ounce of effort you use to exercise will not only power the batteries of the machines that you are using, but you’ll be responsible for helping to power the flat screen TVs, stereo, lights and other energy-hoggish equipment. What a great idea…using human energy to create energy!

The Green Microgym’s owner, Adam Boesel, is also concerned about reducing the gym’s carbon footprint by using EnergyStar rated items, including cork oak flooring.

Wicanders Cork Oak Flooring is perfect for gym floors

An eco-friendly gym with Wicanders Cork Oak Flooring

We salute Adam for his vision. He most likely knew about the properties of cork oak and why it is perfect for gyms in homes and businesses alike. Cork springs back from the weight of heavy equipment, it is naturally resistant to all the nasty germs, dirt, and fungus that can populate gym surfaces, and is soft, warm, and comfortable as a side benefit. Add to that cork’s structure which reduces sound between and within rooms, and you’ve got a pretty peaceful, clean, sustainable, energizing, and eco-friendly environment.

Saving the Montado cork oak forests is another reason using cork oak is a smart choice. Check out the Save Miguel campaign here and consider how you can join the green movement by designing, building, remodeling, and preserving the environment by using cork oak flooring…which is just what nature intended.

Need more green building assistance? Just ask…

Team Wicanders

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From One Great Tree to Another—A Tribute to Conservation

14 07 2008

When you are in the presence of The Angel Oak, you feel as if you are walking on hallowed ground. Everyone is strangely quiet. Whispering. In awe. Even the children realize this is not something you see everyday. They stare wide-eyed waiting for permission to approach the oldest thing—living or man-made—east of the Rockies. The Angel Oak is a live oak tree aged approximately 1,500 years, standing 65 feet high as it’s canopy shades 17,000 square feet of earth. It’s limbs—trees themselves—are so heavy some rest on the ground, go underground, then raise back up.

The Angel Oak, Johns Island, South Carolina

The Angel Oak, Johns Island, South Carolina

One of our team members recently discovered this ancient gem on a drive to John’s Island outside of Charleston, South Carolina. “The Tree” as it is reverently called in this low-country, has survived countless hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and human interference, and would have sprouted some 1000 years before Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the New World.

Which leads us, ever so circumspectly to Lisbon, Portugal, where Christopher Columbus reunited with his brother in 1479, and where not so far away in the town of Aguas de Moura in the Alentejo region of Portugal today stands The Whistler Tree. This great tree, the worlds oldest and largest cork oak, also magically captures our reverential respect and awe. Planted in 1783, and 225 years young, it was first harvested of its precious bark in 1820. Shorn every nine years since, it is the most productive cork oak tree on record, and is due to be harvested yet again in 2009, as anticipation and excitement grows in this vast open countryside.

The Whistler Tree, Aguas de Moura, Portugal

The Whistler Tree, Aguas de Moura, Portugal

For over 130 years and under the careful protection of Amorim, the manufacturer of Wicanders’ Cork Oak Floors, trees like The Whistler Tree are protected and allowed to grow and mature for as long as nature determines. Amorim is careful to employ their sustainability and biodiversity initiatives in the cork oak forests, as they cyclically extract and transform natural raw material from the cork oak trees without ever harming them. This practice—in respect for the economic, social, and environmental value of their livelihood—is a growing reality that other manufacturers have only now begun to emulate.

Two great trees, one in the new world, one in the old…both survivors, both magnificent, both a gift of nature. Each simultaneously benefiting mankind. We hope The Angel Oak lives on for another 1500 years, and The Whistler Tree for another 225. For Team Wicanders, it’s satisfying to know that the green building paradigm sweeping the US will save other oak trees for generations to come.

Until next time…
Team Wicanders

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