Love music? Save the tonewoods. Choose FSC-certified wood.


The future of the guitar and a number of other wooden instruments may be in jeopardy, because many of the forest species that give them their unique sound are in jeopardy. According to the conservation group Fauna & Flora International, more than 200 species of trees are used to make musical instruments, and 70 of those are threatened with extinction. These include mahogany, Honduras cedar and Honduras rosewood, all of which are used in guitars.

In response, major guitar manufacturers like Gibson, C. F. Martin, Fender and Taylor have joined forces with Greenpeace to launch the Music Wood Campaign, an effort to increase the supply of tonewoods certified as responsibly harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council. Gibson and Martin already make guitars from certified woods.

What can you do to help? Start saving your pennies. Groups like Greenpeace and Fauna & Flora concede that musical instruments alone aren’t depleting precious stocks of endangered woods. Most of the wood goes for construction materials and furniture. If you’re planning major renovations or redecoration projects, start a savings account so you can purchase furniture made with Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood.