I was fortunate to learn contstruction trades in Crestone, CO, a hub of alternative building and lifestyles. I worked on and got to see a variety of truly eco- friendly building practices, and some pseudo eco building as well. I learned during that period that "green" is not as simple as it is often portrayed, and too often the most viable and logical options are overlooked in favor of what is in fashion. For a good explanation of eco friendly materials please follow this link.
When I started Nautilus Cajons I was living and working out of a tiny (400 square foot) strawbale studio and using solar generated electricity to do all my work. Though I thought myself to be eco friendly then, the truth was that I drove so much that my energy consumption from driving far outweighed whatever I might save with solar power. Clearly I had to move from this isolated town of Crestone at the end of a very long road. Now living in the biking and outdoor mecca that is Salida, CO, I walk or bike the 4 blocks to Hylton Lumber, and the 100 yards to the post office. I can run my entire business without the use of a car. That is one of a variety of ways I am trying to do my part to stop supporting toxic economic practices.
Introducing the Bamboo Flagship Cajon, The Holy Grail of Eco Friendly Cajons!!
Bamboo Flagship offers top of the line sound quality, like a solid wood
cajon, at an affordable price, ONLY $349. And it is Eco Friendly!
Environmentally, reclaimed woods are the soundest choice because their use replaces the need to harvest new timber. The wood is already out there, it's just a matter of finding it, cleaning it, and milling it. Woodworkers that use reclaimed woods find that they are definitely worth the extra effort since many of these woods have a richness of grain, color, and character that is unmatched in woods found today. And wood from old-growth trees come in sizes that are virtually impossible to find today. Some of the best quality wood comes from old-growth trees. Old-growth timber is often harder, denser, and more dimensionally stable than wood from young trees. (Much of this stability comes from the fact that the wide trees yielded so much quarter-sawn lumber). It also tends to have fewer knots and structural defects. Of course, reclaimed woods may have nail holes, metal stains, and other imperfections, but that's part of the appeal of these woods.
Rapidly Renewable Materials
Rapidly renewable materials are natural, non-petroleum-based building materials (petroleum based materials are non-renewable) that have harvest cycles under 10 years. Such materials include bamboo, straw, cork, natural linoleum products (such as Marmoleum), wool, wheatboard, strawboard, etc.
ORIGIN: Found in all climates across Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, northern Australia and the Americas
USES: Treated bamboo makes an incredibly light and tough building material and can be used for scaffolding, fences, bridges, furniture, flooring and bricks. It is so strong that it is used in the tropics in place of steel reinforcement rods in concrete
SUSTAINABILITY: There are around 1500 species of bamboo, hence its versatility, and it can be harvested in just 3-5 years compared with 10-20 years for most softwoods. It is crucial you source bamboo very carefully as one billion people depend on it for income or housing. If it is harvested at the wrong time they might have to go without – along with the giant pandas and west African mountain gorillas, whose preferred bamboo is already endangered. Check out the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan; (www.inbar.int)
ALTERNATIVES: Technically a woody plant rather than a wood itself, bamboo is less threatened than any timber – look into using it as a substitute whenever you need to use wood