photo of wooden objects and forest

Good Wood Guide How and why to use sustainable timber

Guide to wood options

Do you know your ash from your ebony? Your endangered wenge from your English willow? Find the most suitable, sustainable wood options in our helpful A-Z of timber types.

Why choose good wood?

We need wood for lots of stuff, from furniture to floorboards. It's natural and renewable, so it's often a better choice than alternatives like steel or plastics.

But our demand for wood is having a devastating impact on the world's forests. Forests that give us everything from oxygen to medicines – and help combat climate change.

Our good wood guide helps you choose wood from healthy sources, and avoid species at risk from extinction. And find alternatives to using new timber.

What's so good about trees?

Forests and woodlands aren't just magnificent to look at and walk around in. Trees are crucial for life on Earth – for food, water, air, medicine... as well as reducing climate change.

About The Good Wood Guide

The Good Wood Guide was produced in 1997 in partnership with Fauna & Flora International through Fenside Waste Management Ltd and The Rufford Foundation. Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland no longer runs a campaign directly on forests. If you have questions about forests, or anything else in the guide, please take a look at our links page.