Let's face it.
Choosing to use 100% maple plywood to create my DIY furniture kits is certainly not the cheapest option for me, nor is it the easiest. Even though I source the wood locally in Québec, Canada, the sheets are sometimes difficult to find and it would be far less of a hassle for me to use baltic birch plywood instead.
So why do i do the extra work?
I do it for peace of mind. The majority of the baltic birch that is available on the open market as the name suggests comes from eastern Europe and is full of hideous glues, formaldehyde and who knows what else. This is important to me because I make my own products. It is me in the workshop when the CNC router is running. The dust alone is enough to handle without adding all those extra toxins.
I also do it because it simply doesn't make any sense to me that I now live and work in Canada, surrounded by some of the most magical and enchanting forests in the world and yet the majority of structural plywood that is used is shipped by container from quite far away. I might be able to justify it if I was still living and working in Australia but not here. Not in the wondrous world of wood.
The other reason I do it is simple. It is my son Aiden. Often when faced with a hard decision I ask myself what kind of a system are we leaving for our children? Sustainability isn't always the easy option, but we have privilege and the responsibility to at least try. We need to take care of our forests and invest in closed loop manufacturing. If a North American maple tree take 40 years to mature then the products that we are making need to last that long to close the loop. This only works if we make our products repairable, and then ultimately biodegradable.
So difficult or not, this is what I choose, and isn't it our choices that define us?