An eco-friendly alternative to wood decking

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In this guest blog post, the decking experts from TimberTech UK discuss the environmental impact of hardwood decking and highlight an eco-friendly alternative that’s ideal for green garden owners…

A decked seating area or patio can be a great addition to any garden, but for those of us looking to lead an environmentally-conscious lifestyle, the prospect of filling up the garden with timber decking can seem rather unpalatable. The manufacture of traditional timber decking involves several actions which are harmful to the environment, the most problematic being the level of deforestation that is required in order to manufacture the boards.

Even once the manufacturing process is complete and the boards are in place, a wooden deck requires a lot of maintenance, and this work can cause problems of its own. Stains and sealants are essential for preserving the appearance of hardwood decking and preventing the growth of slippery mould, but these products often contain a lot of chemicals which can be harmful when released into the ecosystem.

However, there is another way. Composite decking represents a green alternative to wood that is both tree-friendly and easy to maintain. The boards, which are made from reclaimed wood and recycled polymers, can be manufactured without felling a single tree; the end product is also very low-maintenance, negating for harmful chemicals and deck treatments.

One criticism that’s often levied at composite decking concerns its appearance: those boards may be greener than their hardwood counterparts, but can a synthetic product really compete with the natural, authentic beauty of real woood?

Well, yes – in fact, good-quality composite decking can be practically indistinguishable from the real thing. Composite boards will often have a grained texture that looks and feels very authentic, and there are all sorts of different styles on the market, from warm wood effects to sumptuous tropical colours and sleek, modern silvers and greys. This variety allows you to create, with minimal environmental impact, an attractive outdoor space that’s completely unique to you.

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Here at TimberTech, we make all of our products from reclaimed wood that would otherwise go to landfill, saving 49 million kilograms of wood waste every year. We also take great pains to ensure that our manufacturing process is as sustainable as possible; for example, we use natural, energy-efficient lighting and a closed-loop water system to reuse water, saving over 636,452 litres a day.

This eco-conscious approach also extends to our packaging, which is made of 43% recycled materials (meeting the Sustainable Forestry Initiative requirements) and is itself 100% recyclable. By taking this extra measure at the end of the process, the owner of the deck can also rest assured that they have not taken part in any wasteful practices during the purchase and installation of their new decking.

Much of the decking industry has realised in recent years that the old practices aren’t sustainable, and that new, greener solutions must be found. Early incarnations of composite decking looked cheap and unappealing, and they often didn’t last well in outdoor environments; since then, however, composite decking has made huge progress, and the products available nowadays are arguably superior to solid wood. They look just as good, they last for decades with very little maintenance, and – most importantly of all – they’re much kinder to the world around us.

This sponsored post was supplied by TimberTech UK.

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