Our Social Responsibility
At Kerf Works USA we believe whole-heartedly in the concept of social responsibility; particularly as a small, locally run business, we feel we have a responsibility to society to strive for a smaller carbon footprint and keep our business interactions personal and human. To that end we continue to make efforts to better our impact on society.
At Kerf Works USA we believe in the green movement; we are always searching for new ways to be more eco-friendly in our business and shop practices. Additionally, we have made a commitment to donating 3% of our total income to non-profits that have missions that match these core values. These include groups like the Environmental Defense Fund of EDF. More information about their mission can be found at https://www.edf.org/our-mission-and-values
Sustainable Wood Species
As woodworkers we have the opportunity to make GREEN decisions everyday in the form of choosing wood species to work with. There are a long list of wood species that are not sustainable and even endangered. We keep ourselves up to date on what is grown in a sustainable environment and how we purchase these sustainable woods. Our preference is to use Domestic Hardwoods and Softwoods, those grown in North America as there is the most assurance that the trees have been harvested in a sustainable manner as well as in a way that has the smallest environmental impact as possible. Our favorite woods to use are Black Walnut, Maple, Cherry and White Ash.
Sustainable wood is grown in areas that are carefully maintained with strict regulations on how the trees are harvested, how much can be harvested annually as well as how these trees must be replaced when they are harvested. More information about wood harvesting in North American can be found here:
We use water-based, low VOC products as often as we can for staining and finishing our work as opposed to the solvent-based, highly toxic substances that have been used traditionally and often provide easier application and finishing. We are also always on the lookout for trying new water-based products as more and more all the time they claim to offer the same ease of use and great results as the more toxic options. Our favorite finish is our Beeswax and Mineral Oil mixture. We make this ourselves and love the ease of application, its food safe qualities and the ability to refinish if needed. The Mineral Oil nourishes the wood, and the Beeswax creates a light film finish on the surface. Additionally, as much as possible, we work top suggest wood species that will match a specific wood tone as opposed to staining. There are many water-based, low VOC and non-toxic ways of staining wood, but if you can use a piece of wood and only put a few coats of oil on them, the beauty of the grain shows through even more!
Biodegradable Packaging Materials
Kerf Works USA whenever possible uses a biodegradable packing material that is unique to our industry...wood shavings. In our shop we use the lathe and hand planes a lot and because of this we find that we have a lot of raw wood shavings laying around. One day we found ourselves needing packing material for a shipment and without time to wait for an order of the biodegradable peanuts to be delivered we looked to the shop and ALL the wood shavings laying around...
We put them in with the shipment and realized that they did a wonderful job of cushioning our work. Now they serve three purposes in our shipping process; one they provide the necessary packing material to keep the work safe during transport; two they help us keep the shop clean with a purpose as opposed to just throwing boxes of shavings away every week and three they usually give a fantastic aroma to any package. After our goods arrive, the wood shavings have been used as compost, flower pot lining, chicken bedding and mulch.
Have an idea on how we can do more? Tell us!
We are always looking for more ways to be green so if you have any suggestions for us please don't hesitate to get in touch! GREENKERF@KerfWorksUSA.com