Kapur should be avoided entirely!

Kapur is being logged from old-growth rainforests in Indonesia, mostly illegally. Logging there is wiping out the last rainforests of Indonesia, home to the highly endangered orangutan and thousands of other unique species of wildlife. The trees are from 250 to 1000 years old.

The UN Environment Programme's World Conservation Monitoring Center has placed kapur on a preliminary list of threatened species of Sumatra: "Dryobalanops aromatica A very large gregarious tree which provides most of the kapur timber and camphor for Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra."

The IUCN Red List of Endangered Species lists kapur (Dryobalanops aromatica) as Critically Endangered.

Kapur is being sold in the US as outdoor furniture, moldings and
tool handles.

For a kapur fact sheet in PDF, click here.


As of May 6, 2006, the following companies were selling kapur outdoor furniture:

Target
Pond Solutions
Amazon.com
Arboria
and even Scientific American!

To take action with these companies, go to our By Company section.


Alternatives (to see how we choose the colors of these alternatives from 'deep green' to 'fire red' see our Hierarchies of Wood Use graphics.

For outdoor furniture, the best alternative is recycled plastic.

After that, many certified second growth temperate woods are available. Check the FSC website for certified sellers of outdoor furniture but make sure the furniture comes with the FSC certificate, rather than just the retailer being "chain-of-custody" certified, which does not ensure that the product is from certified forest operations.

Certified plantation woods such as eucalyptus, are available at many retailers. While the original eucalyptus plantation may have been grown on destroyed rainforests, if it's an older plantation, at least no new rainforests are being destroyed to obtain the wood currently.

Uncertified temperate woods such as white cedar will at least assure that no rainforests were destroyed. But avoid old growth rainforest woods such as redwood, western red cedar, Alaskan (yellow) cedar and old growth subtropical woods such as cypress.