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“Street surf” is a sustainable brand-new business in Portugal wood market

05/12/2019

Turning wood boards into handcrafted skateboards or longboards, is a concept that is being developed by a Portuguese family united for woodworking passion.

The business started because of a common hobby inside three generations of a family: carpentry work. A gift shared between the project creator, his father, the shaper of business, and his grandfather. The love for creation from wood is a natural giving that runs in the veins of them all and now was combined with the taste for extreme sports from de founder. That’s how “AFC Woodboards” borned.

A project in way of family tribute that resulted into handmade skateboards, longboards and stand up paddles, all of them based in high quality, is made from reused wood, so based on an ecological basis. Until now, all the work material was abandoned old furniture founded on the street or unused wood given by friends and friends of friends.

The company is giving new life to many products whose uses range from fun to decoration and can be customized to suit the customer's taste. The creative, however, is inspired in the beaches from north to south of Portugal, which give the names to the products.

For further information: https://observador.pt/2019/12/01/afc-woodboards-de-uma-cama-se-faz-um-skate-para-surfar-as-ruas/

 

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Amazon: Exporting native trees may no longer be illegal

02/12/2019

Brazil may start to be an exporter of wood in natura (and not only of exotic trees). The activity that is currently illegal may turn out to be an extra option for the Brazilian timber sector in the near future.

 

Exports of native trees may be legalized in the Amazon. The option was placed on the table for the Sao Paulo government after pressure from the timber sector entrepreneurs.

The only wood species in natura currently available for export on the Brazilian market are eucalyptus and pine - the exotic types – and to export them after being cut down, producers need special state authorization. This is an environmental rule that provides the sale of native wood only in the form of a product, which means that logs cannot leave Brazil until they are transformed into a final product.

Until now, the only who showed a positive responsive was the Ibama (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) director, but the decision it’s not only up to her and none of the others decision makers commented on the hypothesis.

The Brazilian wood market is known by illegal activities and statistics point to numbers around 90%, specially Ipê wood. If this measure is approved, will be theorical just in “management plans” areas that government controls. However, the numbers reveal another reality in practical terms and the deforestation in prohibited zones have been increasing.

More info: https://noticias.r7.com/brasil/exportacao-de-arvores-nativas-pode-ser-autorizada-23112019

 

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“20 Million Trees” until 2020. This is Australia’s commitment to combat climate changes

27/11/2019

Australia joins forces to fight against global warning and will plant 20 million trees by 2020. In 2050 expect to reach 1 billion of planted trees and meet climate goals.

 

The targets were launched by The Paris Agreement, in 2015 and with this plan of action, Australia will remove 18 million tons of greenhouse gases a year. The climate changes aren’t a new business and has been asserting itself as an increasingly urgent society problem. However, a lot of countries are postponing positions like Australia's to stop them.

The global agreement wants to reduce these gases to start stopping global warming as early as 2020. Through this project, the Australian government expects to more easily achieve the expected milestones, once, by now, this country all by herself produces more than 500 million of CO2 per year.

A 2018 national report points out that Australia has the seventh largest forest area in the world, covering 17% of its land area. So far, countless researches have proven that more trees could be the most positive influence on sustainable development sought.

For details: https://www.jornalciencia.com/australia-vai-plantar-1-bilhao-de-arvores-para-ajudar-a-combater-o-aquecimento-global/

 


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More than 2 000 cork oaks planted at one time in the southern Portugal

25/11/2019

Initiative joined more than 100 volunteers in order to preserve the Portuguese native forest and combat deforestation. Since 2011 have been plated over 20 000 native trees.

 

The Alentejo region, in the south of Portugal, was the chosen for the enterprise “Green Cork” - a project specially dedicated to cork recycling, whose revenues are intended to finance the preservation of Portuguese forests. The “Green Cork” was born in 2011, resulted behind a partnership between Quercus, a Portuguese Non-Governmental Organization for the Environment (ONGA) and Corticeira Amorim, the biggest Portuguese multinational aimed to cork.

On November 23rd, one hundred volunteers planted more than 2 000 cork oaks, the one considered the national tree of Portugal. This species is a native forest type of tree that is distributed throughout the western zone of the Mediterranean region, standing out as a unique forest ecosystem, extremely rich in terms of biodiversity. The cork oak also plays important roles in areas like soil conservation, hydrological cycle regulation, water quality and oxygen production.

Quercus and Corticeira Amorim, as founding companies of the program, have been committed by the past years with the conservation of nature and natural resources and environmental protection in general. Cork forests as well as their products and subsequent recycling, are important agents as sinks of CO2 and in carbon dioxide retention, much due the fact cork trees have a very high average life expectancy. This marks put the both companies in a easy place to contribute directly for increasing a sustainable development, because their activities are naturally focus in conservation of nature and biodiversity, in the case of Quercus and processing cork products, on Corticeira Amorim side, being the largest cork company in Portugal and positioned as the world leader in the sector.

Additional information: https://www.imagensdemarca.pt/artigo/quercus-e-amorim-vao-plantar-mais-de-2000-sobreiros/

 

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Amazonia: “Lungs of the world” have lost more than 2,000 square kilometers of their forest area

21/11/2019

The deforestation in the Amazon increased 30% between 2018 and 2019, reaching one of the highest levels ever.

 

According to National Institute of Space Research (INPE), it’s estimated that in this past year the Amazon has reached a shallow cut deforestation rate of 9,762 km2, which means a loss of 2,000 km2 of forest. This is already the quickest deforestation process since 2008.

The Brazilian environment minister points out the illegal economic activities as the main cause of these numbers, although the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, questions the validity of these numbers.

This rate was cleared by PRODES, the Project of Monitoring of Deforestation in the Amazon by Satellite, the one that is considered the most accurate system for measuring annual rates and all the data and conclusions can be access in the official website of INPE (http://www.inpe.br/noticias/noticia.php?Cod_Noticia=5294).

Amazon is the biggest tropical forest in the world, covers nine countries and is largely responsible for the balancing of world’s climate and slowing global warming.

More information: https://jornaleconomico.sapo.pt/noticias/desflorestacao-na-amazonia-aumentou-30-no-espaco-de-um-ano-514682

 

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Finland: "Wood clothing" opens doors to a sustainable textile industry

18/11/2019

“Enter the new era of textile production!” That’s the motto of Loncell’s - a technology that can turn cellulose, old newspapers, used textiles, and now even wood, into new textile fibers. All this using ecofriendly know-how and no harmful chemicals.

 

Moved by the growing need of the textile market to find alternatives to cotton, which consumes a huge amount of natural resources, a research team of Aalto University, in Finland, developed an innovative technology capable of turning wood into synthetic fiber.

By using birch, the specie of wood chosen to be the raw material, this ecofriendly technology brings the sustainability back to the textile industry. Michael Hummel, Professor of the Bio-products Department, at Aalto University, see this innovation as a return to origins, once wood is the main engine of its business with no associated pollution.

The fashion industry alone produces about 10 percent of global carbon emissions, uses nearly 70 million barrels of oil a year for its production that take more than 200 years to decompose. This scenario ally to the accumulate of fiber remnants in the oceans, potentiated the growing rejection of synthetic fibers by the market.

The project should see's major developments within three years, by which time scale production should be possible, but there’s already a project to create a production line by 2020.

More details: https://www.rtp.pt/noticias/mundo/finlandia-roupa-feita-de-madeira-abre-caminho-a-industria-textil-sustentavel_v1183536

 

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Portugal: Christmas it’s not that far away and solidarity season is officially open

14/11/2019

Adorned pines, lights and stringent decorations. In Portugal, the most wonderful time of the year, can be started the best way possible, helping the country firefighters.

 

Choosing the christmas tree has never been easier. The “Pinheiro Bombeiro” (Firefighter Pine) is already in its 3rd edition, in 2019, and everyone can rent a pine tree, instead of buying a plastic one. The environmental footprint decreases and the planet thanks.

The portuguese startup Rnters made this project to connect a caring cause to today’s growing environmental concerns. For 20 euros, anyone can rent their christmas tree and 5 euros from each pine goes to volunteer firefighters to buy their equipments.

In all, past editions have raised 29,000 euros that allowed the buy of dozens of gloves and masks for various firefighting teams, but the company wants to reach all the fire brigades in Portugal.

Get more info: https://eco.sapo.pt/2019/11/12/quer-uma-arvore-de-natal-pode-alugar-e-ajudar-os-bombeiros/

 

 

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Wood stove or pellet stove: Two single purpose options

11/11/2019

The heat source, the interaction with the machine and the environment created are the main differences. Here are the points to keep in mind before deciding which option best fits your preferences.

 

According to the experts, both wood and pellets stove may be good options, because thus markets have a large offer adapted to the different needs. In general, wood stoves are better for the ones who want to invest in a trusty warmth source, once a modern wood-burning stove burn cordwood for the cleanest way possible and is independent of external energy. The available models can be chosen depending on consumer’s preference and taste, since there are uncountable aesthetic solutions. However, the size of the area he wants to warm is also important and market include different size options, materials and styles, so it’s possible to achieve both worlds, when it’s time to choose.

In the other hand, pellet stove is new in the market and stands out for maintaining a constant ambient temperature. The wood pellets that feed these kinds of stoves are made of recycled wood, compressed wood fiber, sawmill waste and timber clearing operations and can be connected for one full day with no pellets recharge - unlike wood stoves - allowing a reduced user interaction with the machine. As with wood stoves there is no shortage of choice either for any kind of needs and market tends.

In short, both options have categories fitted to different consumers, therefore the decision must tend to what best suits each reality. If a reliable source of energy is the most important even if it implies the constant supply, the wood stove is a better match. If you don't want to worry about cutting and stacking wood, although you must be dependent on electricity and obligation of the buying wood in the market, pellets stoves will serve you better.

To more details: https://myhomco.com/news/pellet-vs-wood-which-stove-is-better/

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One of a kind. Trees are rare birds that do not have a defined life cycle like the other living beings on earth

05/11/2019

Why don’t trees die of old age? Statistics aren’t clear on this topic, but there are some unique facts about tree live that we cannot find in any living organism in the world.

 

It is in the White Mountains of California that the largest living tree in the world is found. The Great Basin bristlecone pine, a species that is already known for its longevity, born 5,068 years ago and remains alive to this day.

No one really knows if there be a time when the life cycle will end for her, but, as in all areas of study, it’s possible to rely on statistics, so that day will probably come. When it will be, no one can guarantee it.

Trees have no growth limit, which in theoretical terms means that they can grow indefinitely. However, in practice, this would result in a death sentence, because at some point, photosynthesis would no longer be possible, since water wouldn’t circulate long enough to reach the upper leaves. So, this pine, sometime during growth, started to get large, growing sideways, since this is the protection mechanism to maintain photosynthesis.

There are causes of death in tree life cycle, but age isn’t one of them. Damage from a storm, external causes like fires or an infestation or attack from insects that makes her vulnerable are some of the likely reasons. However, tree death can result from a combination of these and other factors. And even if she survives many situations, the odds at some point do not protect her from the inevitable. That's why the trees don't live forever. Just don't really die of old age.

Further information: https://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2014/11/do_trees_die_of_old_age.html

 

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Flooring: Positive balance in major European wood flooring markets in first half of 2019

31/10/2019

The last European Federation of the Parquet Industry (FEP) report showed a grown at German, Austrian, French, Polish and Spanish wood flooring markets, but the rest of Europe did not keep up with this trend.

 

The variation in the different countries is partly due to the trade war in European market between China and EUA, according to FEP. Donald Trump's tariffs undermine the competitiveness of US companies by reducing sales in the US market and undermining the globality of the countries with which they establish economic relations.

These measures affect especially countries with smaller markets like Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands or Norway. However, the decrease seen in Netherlands and Norway, is also due to the strong competition from luxury vinyl tiles (LVT).

By now, German keeps on the leadership of European parquet market and France and Spain showed developments in relate to the same time in 2018. There are then contradictory trends marking the first 6 months of the year.

For more details: https://www.wbpionline.com/news/european-wood-flooring-consumption-presents-mixed-picture-in-2019-241019-7471170/

 

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