Stewardship is not just a buzzword, it’s a way of life for us.
Your log cabin, timber frame house or log home is created with respect for our earth.
As part of a group of companies committed to natural resource stewardship green practices, Honest Abe Log Homes can truly say, “We were green when being green wasn’t cool.” With us, good stewardship of our natural resources isn’t just a slogan, it’s a way of life.
Our parent company, Green Forest Wood Products, was started in 1970 to supplement the income from a family farm. That family farming operation and all the conservation measures associated with it continues with another generation today on several thousand acres in Tennessee and Kentucky. Along the way, Honest Abe founder, the late Doug Smith, operated the company under the philosophy, “If you’re going to make your living in wood products, you must have practices in place to keep renewing those raw materials, and you need to use every part of a log you can.”
That’s not just a good business practice, it’s proper stewardship. And it’s just a part of Honest Abe Log Homes’ commitment to stewardship, green practices and sustainability measures. We practice what we preach, and also preach what we practice. We not only do these things as a part of our everyday business, we encourage homeowners, our sister companies and our suppliers to get involved, too.
Finishes are truly green.
We know that in today’s environment being “green” is considered an important factor in the decision process of many of our customers. Being “green”– environmentally friendly – is one reason why log homes are so popular. But what about the finishes used on log homes, can they be “green” as well? The answer depends on the criteria used to define “green.”
For example, there are several manufacturers of oil-based finishes that claim their products are “green” since they contain linseed or soybean oil, which are considered renewable resources. What they don’t say is that their products also contain large amounts of petroleum-based solvents and the only way to clean-up these products is to use turpentine or mineral spirits, products that fall under regulated disposal requirements due to their toxicity and high, negative environmental impact.
One standard for being “green” is the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC) contained in a product. Both state and federal agencies regulate the amount of allowable VOCs contained in coatings, since VOCs have been implicated in both depletion of the ozone layer and global warming. These regulations have had a serious impact on oil-based products forcing manufacturers to reduce solvent content by adding fillers and other solids with a subsequent reduction in attractiveness and performance.
Honest Abe Log Homes has chosen to include products by Perma-Chink in our log and timber home packages.
All of Perma-Chink Systems’ LIFELINE-brand stains are water-based products that contain no petroleum distillates and comply with all state and federal regulations for contained volatile organic compounds (VOC). Ever since Perma-Chink Systems’ inception in 1981, just two years after Honest Abe was founded, Perma-Chink has always tried to formulate their products to have the least impact on our environment.
In addition, they’ve targeted healthy living areas with their specifically-formulated interior finishes by meeting the highest interior air quality standards. Through testing, they’ve found that solvent- or petroleum-based finishes don’t perform as well in exposure testing compared to our water-based LIFELINE finishes.
The company’s stains and sealants are recognized by environmental organizations as being truly “green” since they have minimum impact on the ecosystem. And since clean-up requires only soap and water, they do not contribute any toxicants or pollutants to our surroundings.
It’s a sad fact that being “green” has become a meaningless term used by companies’ marketing departments to help promote and sell their products. Perma-Chink’s technical staff continues to produce and develop superior products that do not damage the environment and have no adverse health effects on either the people applying our products or individuals who live in log homes stained or sealed with materials supplied by Perma-Chink.
Perma-Chink Systems’ chemists evaluate all the components that go into their products to ensure they are the safest for employees, product applicators, the homeowner and the environment. The sealants are completely free of petroleum distillates, which has improved the sealant’s performance as well as made it safer for people and the environment. And this is a priority for Honest Abe Log Homes.
“We provide one-on-one consultation throughout the custom home planning and design process,” said Fred Kendall, Manager, Design and Drafting Department, Honest Abe Log Homes, who is also is also a Certified Green Building Professional as recognized by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Our customers are encouraged to give direction on the impact that “stewardship” building has on their project.”
Eastern White Pine, which is used for Honest Abe’s log homes, is a major species for reforestation, making it a plentiful and renewable resource. Here’s an article by Jeff Clements, Vice President of Honest Abe Log Homes, explaining measures taken to ensure that this resource is renewable.
Excellence in planning, products, manufacturing and efficiency
Honest Abe and its sister companies have long had a practice of using every component of a harvested log or purchased timber. We buy and sell by-products of the milling process to each other, creating an almost zero-percent waste factor.
By-products created through our manufacturing process, like pine sawdust and shavings, are sold to a sister mulch company, Barky Beaver, of Honest Abe Log Homes. This company prepares and packages the materials for use as animal bedding and in soil mixtures.
Some of the cutoffs are sold to local retailers for kiln dried firewood, which is required in the parks. The Honest Abe plant uses some of the waste for heating during the winter.
We encourage new homeowners to join the Arbor Day Foundation, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.
Along with membership, customers receive 10 free tree seedlings to plant around their new log home.