Planet Ark News

Dabbling in DIY

Date: 28-May-15
Author: Chris Philpot

Tao and his new chalkboard © Chris Philpot

Tao and his new chalkboard

"As a new homeowner, I like to dabble in a bit of DIY. And my little son is always there to offer a helping hand," says Chris Philpot, our Paper and Wood Campaign Manager. 

"My latest creation involved some chalkboard paint and some certified plywood." 

Tao loves his artwork and has a special skill at drawing on our freshly painted white walls and new cream couch. So I suggested that we build a chalkboard so he can express his creativity (without destroying things). To my relief, he thought that was "a great daddy idea" and half an hour later we were in the timber section of our local hardware store buying a piece of plywood and chalkboard paint. 

I obviously have a concern for the environment (or I wouldn't work at Planet Ark) so I was very pleased to see that the first piece of marine plywood I picked out had the FSC logo stamped on it.  I always look for certified wood. Certification ensures the wood comes from forests that have been responsibly managed.  In other words, looked after with environmental, social and economic values at heart. 

It wasn't long before the (certified) marine ply was painted and attached to the wall in the courtyard.

"I love to paint on my new chalkboard," said Tao, "Can you help me draw a fire engine, Daddy?"

I smiled and thought what a fun afternoon we'd had. I also hoped that our DIY chalkboard would prevent him from drawing on the walls.  Maybe he'd learnt something about making positive choices too (even though he is only two)! 

Choose Certified

Next time you're thinking of using wood for your DIY projects, make sure it's certified. 

If you can't find wood that carries FSC certification, see if your supplier carries PEFC or AFS certified wood. You can find out more by visiting     

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