WHY IS CORK SO GREEN?
Posted on 26 January 2018
Purchasing choices impact future generations of humans, animals and plants. We cast a vote with every purchase towards the future of our planet. We know the negative effects that our ecological footprint can have, but how much do we actually do to change it? Take the first step with Scoria by learning these fun facts about our favourite sustainable material...
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HOME SWEET HOME
It all starts in the forest. Cork forests span over 6 million acres of our Earth, and are mostly located in Portugal and Spain because of their critical Mediterranean environment.
Most trees have an outer layer of cork bark, but the cork oak tree is the main source of most cork products in the world. Once these trees reach maturity (about 25 year old) they can be harvested by stripping the cork, leaving the tree unharmed. Since cork oak is 100% renewable, the stripped outer layer regenerates and can be harvested again once every 9-12 years for up to 200 years! At that point, the aged tree is removed and two new ones are planted to maintain the lush forests. This process allows a special balance between people and nature.
THE CORK MYTH
A big misconception is that cork is endangered, and that minimizing our use will keep it around for longer. But the real threat actually lies in the declining demand of cork. Sound backwards? Let us explain… The whole cork production system works in a harmonious balance of give-and-take. Harvesting cork is one of the most environmentally friendly processes, NO trees are cut down, the bark of the tree is stripped by hand. If we continue cultivating the forests, the bark will re-generate, we’re left with an ample cork supply and the trees are ready for the cycle to restart. But with cork products being replaced by plastic, the forests run the risk of being abandoned. So… want to help keep the cork industry alive? Buy more of it!
Over thousands of people depend on the cork growing and processing industry. In addition to helping people, cork oaks are a friend to animals too! The forests they are planted in support one of the world’s highest levels of forest biodiversity, and are home to some critically endangered animal species and plants.
Thanks to the cork’s cell-like structure, the material is elastic, resilient and highly impermeable, which basically means it will last years and remain strong through all the wear and tear. Even at its end of life, this biodegradable product breaks down back into the Earth where it came from. Yay for zero waste!
Images via Wikimedia Commons
Now that you’re armed with the real facts you’ll have a new appreciation when you step onto one of our mats. Cork is an amazing, quality material that we love to promote.
Creative Team @ Scoria Yoga