Feeding People: Tables

Trees were common in the Middle East thousands of years ago. The lands were deforested for ships, temples and other buildings. Unsustainable farming and land clearing caused the soil in the Middle East to become to salty to grow things over time. Deforestation means that many people in the world have alternatives to wooden tables. Traditional Arabic meals or Egyptian meals are eaten on a cloth spread out on a woven carpet with cushions. In Kenyan in the Green Belt movement, Wangari Maathai is trying to promote reforestation.

In North America there are still many trees. Many wild birds such as the Marbled Murrelet, require old growth trees. Old Growth Trees are so rare now they should not be cut. Much wood from the U.S. and abroad comes from clear cutting which causes soil erosion. In the future, wood should be certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to show that the forest was managed and only select cutting was used, which enables the forest to grow back faster, making it more productive. This also creates more jobs for foresters. The SFI certification is a green washing certification by corporations and should not be trusted according to the Dogwood Alliance. This can provide the wood if we need to build new tables.

Wood tables should last for many years as there are ancient wooden tables in museums and we have many tables today. The best way to make use of these tables is to resue them rather than putting them in land fills. Many tables are sold at estate and yards sales. Some are donated to the goodwill and Salvation Army. Many are sold on Craigslist or given away for free on craigslist. In New York they are simply put out on the curb and are free for the taking when you move in. Perhaps there should be an option to leave your furniture in the apartment when you move out and let the next person have it? This would greatly simply moving expenses. The Sierra Club organizes big yard sales for colleges when student leave where tables may be found. There is not so much need for new table in the U.S.A. Older tables can be sanded and even varnished to make them look nice when you recycle them in the varnish is old. Whether you choose to use a table or not, an eating place is an important part of eating and with the right actions we should have all we need.

1992. Determination of threatened status for the Washington, Oregon, and California population of the marbled murrelet. Oregon Birds. 18(4): 120-121.