There are a number of sustainable options for your deck this summer.
With warmer days on the horizon the time is ripe to start thinking about having a deck built or upgrading your current one.
Doing the right thing when it comes to selecting materials for decking is easier than it once was. Today, options include composite decks made of recycled plastic and sawdust mixed with sustainable hardwood timbers, bamboo, and softwoods with a non-toxic treatment.
The golden rule is to avoid buying timber that started life in any kind of natural forest – deforestation is a major environmental issue that is partly blamed for altering the earth’s climate and severely reducing the natural habitat of hundreds of birds and animals, as well as people – particularly in Indonesia. So look for wood sourced from forests planted by people or so-called eco-timber.
When it comes to decking look for non-arsenic, something that comes with a warranty against decay and termite attack, and is splinter free – so ideal for bare feet and children.
Products such as Abodo eco wood are created from renewable, certified wood, and can be delivered in the colour of your choice. It is produced here in New Zealand and has no toxic treatment chemicals.
Elsewhere, Accoya (sold in NZ by Timspec) manufactures decking from sustainable sources that “match or exceed those of the best tropical hardwoods and treated woods.” Interestingly, Accoya timber begins life as New Zealand pine, and undergoes a revolutionary process which gives it a life of 70 years outside.
Both Abodo and Accoya timbers are great decking materials, being incredibly stable products (won’t warp or shrink over time or through exposure to the elements).
For something a little bit different, consider a plastic-wood composite, such as that offered by Outdure. In short, its decking material is made of reclaimed hardwood mixed with tough plastic. It means there is a range of colours to choose from and the UV resistant plastic prevents damage caused by moisture and insects. It is also slip resistant.
It’s a low-maintenance option that helps stop tonnes of wood and plastic being dumped in landfills every year.
Bamboo is another decking option, with Australian suppliers such as Ekologix offering a range of options using the fastgrowing material. The firm claims benefits include not needing protective oil or painting, and slip resistance.
So if your current deck is past its best, or you want to add some extra outdoor space to your home, there are plenty of eco-friendly options to make it a great summer.