IKEA is, functionally, in the business of selling ground-up trees, sometimes covered in very, very thin slices of not-ground-up trees. And it’s not even clear that they get those trees in an above-board manner. (Get it, board?) But, when you need a bookcase, we know where you head.
We’re not judging. We keep our records in Expedit bookshelves, too. In fact, we LOVE the Expedit, and we did a double-take when we found out IKEA was discontinuing it, just like you did.
But, as Gizmodo explains, this is actually a good thing — a way for us all to do a little bit better by the world while still paying bargain-basement prices for furniture made of ground-up trees. Because IKEA is making a very, very similar shelf that uses slightly less wood.
The thickness of the wide outer edge that makes Expedit so distinctive. It seems like a minuscule change to us, but it’s not. Sales numbers for Expedit aren’t public, but we know that Ikea sells some 41 million similar Billy bookcases a year.
If Ikea can cut even a centimeter of wood on each of those products, it will save massively on material costs. It’s also going to help them make good on their claim of sustainability. Right now, 25 percent of Ikea wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (though, as one commenter points out, the certification was recently thrown into question). Last year, they pledged to increasethat number to 50 percent within five years. And when you’re selling hundreds of millions of products a year, even the smallest savings count.
We’re guessing that these tiny changes could save, in the long run, hundreds of thousands of trees. At least. For that, we can deal with storing our ground-up trees in some ground-up trees that look slightly different from the old ground-up trees.