Wood is a fundamental part of most households and DIY projects. Therefore, it is worth thinking about what chemicals the wood might be treated with and where it may have come from. As a rule:

Avoid MDF and Chipboard in any DIY project. They contain high levels of formaldehyde, a carcinogenic preservative.

Use reclaimed, FSC plywood, or solid wood. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) timber means the wood has come from a sustainable forest - where trees are replanted after felling and the forestry is sensitive to wildlife. Always look for the FSC logo to be sure you know what you are getting.

Treat wood with natural oils and resins. Avoid the use of artificial wood treatments, which may produce toxic emissions throughout their life. Instead opt for natural alternatives.

The Forest Stewardship Council can give advice on all kinds of wood products and where to buy those from sustainable sources. Call 01686 413916.