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Who uses products from trees? We all do! Have you had a cup of coffee today? Received or sent any mail? Traveled in a car or bus? All these activities involve products from trees.

More than 5,000 items we use in our daily lives come from trees. Some are obvious: berries and fruits (like coffee berries), paper, pencils, and newspapers. Some are not: cellulose-based photographic film, bark in aspirin, fatty acids from trees in shampoo, and resin in your car’s steering wheel.

And, of course, trees provide wood–the only 100% renewable, recyclable, reusable, and biodegradable building product we have. Trees can be planted and grown in an endless cycle using the sun as their energy source. Here are more reasons why wood is so environmentally friendly:

• In part because of economic incentives to replant, the total volume of wood in U.S. forests is actually 25% greater than in 1952. Today, 37% more wood fiber is grown than is harvested in the United States.

• During the long growing period, trees grown for harvesting help clean the air. During photosynthesis, trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

• Wood biodegrades naturally. When it burns or slowly decomposes, it enriches the soil.

Source: Sierra Pacific