I was asked to write this month's column on sustainability. Unfortunately this word, much like its predecessor "green," seems to mean different things to different parties. So surfing I went! I found my favorite definition thanks to Scientific America, "in the words of countless kindergarten teachers, don't take more than your share."
How does this relate to guitars? One way is by using certified products in our manufacturing process. Yes, even though you may not be buying a Sustainable Wood Series or FSC® certified guitar, the material in your new Martin guitar is coming from a responsibly harvested source.
I have seen from my travels, sourcing Mahogany, Ebony, Rosewood, and Spruce, the initiatives that have been put in place to ensure the prosperity of the rain forests. I have seen seed planting in Cameroon, adopted koa trees in Hawaii, thousands of Spruce saplings growing in greenhouses, and traveled through thousands of hectares that lumber companies set aside for wildlife conservation. More and more I see companies putting aside short term profit in exchange for long term prosperity of the planet and future generations. In other words "not taking more than your share."
Michael Dickinson is a 24-year veteran of Martin Guitar. Michael has worked in numerous departments , such as the Sawmill and Customer Service, and is the current buyer of exotic, alternative, and sustainable woods. Ask Michael is a bi-monthly column that will appear on the Martin Guitar blog.