Going Green in Kelowna: Woodworking with a Conscience
Like many Okanagan businesses, the Kelowna custom woodworking team at Heartland Millworks wants to be kinder to the earth.
That’s why Heartland has taken several steps—from using earth-friendly furniture finishes to purchasing green energy—to reduce the company’s environmental impact.
A Green Start
A few years ago, owner Will Brundula heard about Bullfrog Power, a green energy provider that sources electricity from wind and hydro facilities. Heartland has been using the renewable electricity sourced by Bullfrog for three years now.
It costs more, especially when you consider the electricity three busy Kelowna millwork professionals use, but Will thinks it’s worth it.
“It is a premium but we need to be mindful of the planet and do what we can,” says Will.
His team of woodworking professionals begins creating a piece of furniture by powering up their tools with 100% clean, renewable electricity from their buildings, and now they can complete it with a ‘green’ finish.
A Green Finish
“We offer water-based and natural oil finishes to give customers the chance to have more environmentally friendly furniture or cabinets,” says Will.
Water-based lacquers, once hard to find and of poor quality, are now readily available and can compete with traditional polyurethanes. Will suspects Canada could follow Europe’s lead to exclusively use water-based finishes in the next decade.
Derived from the tung tree, natural oil finishes offer a high-quality and incredibly durable finish. They’re also easy to maintain. Plus, Will’s team uses them in conjunction with tools that have been cleaned with citrus oils instead of harmful solvents for a completely environmental process.
A Green Tree
One of Heartland’s most talked about projects—the 22-foot table at RauDZ Regional Table—combined two unique and ‘green’ methods: reclaimed wood finished with natural oil. One of the biggest trends in Kelowna custom millwork is reclaimed wood.
Sourced from farmer’s barns and the bottoms of lakes, rediscovered wood is attractive for its trendy, aged look and because people like the idea of using what’s already here instead of cutting down more trees.
“We’d like to be doing a lot more work with reclaimed wood,” says Will, who enjoys building everything from furniture to cabinetry with wood that’s been around for hundreds of years.
Learn more Heartland Millworks and owner Will Brundula with our post on his drive to provide craftsman quality millwork in Kelowna.