Having lived for many years in the Pacific Northwest, I can attest to the appalling degradation of national and private forests. While wood is ostensibly a renewable resource, we have gone way beyond sustainable harvesting and have ruined enormous ecosystems.
Use wood as decoration. Cull dead trees for structural supports. Use masonry, straw bales, papercrete, cob, adobe, rocks, bags of volcanic rock, etc., instead of wood. Unfortunately it is difficult to get away from lumber in making a roof, so consider making a dome from materials that can be stacked. Domes are also more energy efficient and use less materials for the same space as a box. A conventional straw bale house only diminishes the amount of wood used by about 15%!
Homes can be made with certified sustainably harvested trees. This means that the forests where the trees are harvested are carefully monitored to make sure that the health and character of the forest is maintained. Only certain trees are culled periodically, leaving the remaining trees to grow and contribute to a healthy ecosystem.
Unfortunately, the American Forest and Paper Industries has begun to mislead the public with their own SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) label, which would better be considered the "Same-old Forest Industry" label. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) legitmately certifies forest products, so look for the FSC label.
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