Ecosystems, like forests, are valuable in removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Every tree stores carbon in its wood. The bigger the tree gets, the more carbon it stores. The moment the wood is burned or decomposed; the carbon is released back into the atmosphere as CO2. This can happen in a slow process – through decomposing –, or a faster process – through burning (biomass).
Within a thriving ecosystem, release of carbon from decomposing trees is not the biggest problem, since the CO2 is absorbed by other plants and trees in that system. When ecosystems are replaced with timber plantations, the ability to reabsorb big amounts of CO2 is significantly reduced.
Science has proven that a diverse ecosystem is much more efficient in absorbing CO2 than a monoculture of trees. Diversity seems to be key. Therefore, protecting living trees and ecosystems is a priority for us.
Knowing this, extending the life of wood is very important and seems like a good way to have a positive impact on the climate.
What we do is twofold: We extend the life of wood from the waste stream, so it keeps its carbon stored. By going to the waste pile, we also protect living trees, which are important allies against the CO2 problem.
On one hand we store carbon, on the other we maintain the absorption of CO2 done by living trees. The traditional fast furniture industry affects both these areas negatively.
– By extending the life of wood, and not cutting trees, my furniture becomes a long-term carbon storage place. The longer my furniture, or the components they are made of, live, the better.
Pieter Van Tulder, 2050 furniture designer
Van Tulder is constantly developing ways that makes it easier to extend the life of his furniture. The “Sondre” chair is the first step in an exploration to create a general building block that can be used in every part of a piece of furniture. After one life cycle, the building block can be disassembled and used again in a new piece of furniture.