Go Green: Why You Should Consider Getting Eco-Friendly Flooring
Aside from aesthetics, people generally don’t think twice about the type of flooring they put into their homes. However, it’s time we do. It’s time we start looking at eco-friendly flooring.
Every year, Americans dump roughly 5 billion pounds of carpet into landfills. Considering most carpeting is made from synthetic, nonsustainable fibers, this creates a 5 billion pound problem.
Additionally, while it may seem like a status symbol to use rare, elegant hardwoods in your home, it’s only a status symbol because they’re expensive. The reason they’re expensive, unfortunately, is because they’re rare.
However, along with saving the planet one floor-plank at a time, eco-friendly flooring boasts a ton of benefits.
Take a look!
There are so many eco-friendly flooring options, it’s impossible not to find something you like. From metal tiles to corkboard flooring, your options are nearly unlimited.
For example, Empire Carpet and Flooring offers a wide variety of affordable eco-friendly flooring options and can be found in nearly every state! Find other Empire Flooring locations here!
Cork is an amazing, natural renewable resource that comes from cork oak trees. Most of the cork harvested comes from Portugal, where environmentally conscious laws protect them.
Additionally, cork oak trees are unique in that their bark can be pulled off in layers to harvest cork, yet regenerate over time. This means cork oak trees can yield a harvest time and time again without being cut down.
Cork is both hypoallergenic and an excellent fire-resistant insulator.
Recycled Glass Tiles
Mosaic tiles have been around for as long as we can remember, made famous by landmark buildings such as St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
However, as environmentally conscious folks look for more eco-friendly flooring options, recycled mosaic tiles have made a huge reappearance.
Because most recycled glass tiles are made small, it creates a great opportunity to be creative and artistic with your floors. You can keep it simple with one or two basic colors, or create geometric shapes and patterns.
As we mentioned above, America has a 5 billion pound carpet problem each year, accounting for a large percentage of landfill waste.
However, many people, even green-enthusiasts really appreciate the warm, cozy feel of a well-carpeted home. No worries, eco-friendly flooring has an answer.
Wool carpet is a well-insulated, fire-resistant, and hypoallergenic option for carpet lovers everywhere. Unless they’re allergic to wool, that is.
Alternatively, if you like using recycled materials to slowly save the world, consider PET carpet. PET doesn’t actually have anything to do with pets, it actually stands for polyethylene terephthalate, better know as polyester fiber.
Pet carpeting is an eco-friendly flooring option produced from recycled plastic bottles. However, some companies use some recycled materials while others use 100% recycled materials for their PET carpet.
Bamboo is an awesome, rapidly renewable resource. During harvesting, only the bamboo stalk is cut down, so it immediately begins regrowth. Additionally, bamboo shoots only take three years of growth to be ready for harvest, whereas hardwoods can take more than 25 years.
However, bamboo is a great example of when a good thing turns bad because big corporations get involved. Big bamboo companies have begun producing large crops in an environmentally unconscious way, partaking in deforestation and the heavy use of toxic chemicals.
A bamboo is still a great option, just ensure you’re getting it from a reliable green source.
Sustainably harvested hardwood may sound like a paradoxical statement, but it is possible.
Certain hardwood floors are green-certified, regulated through the Forest Steward Council. They are harvested in a way that has little impact on the environment and the people in the area in which they are harvested.
Natural stone floors are beautiful, elegant, and wildly sustainable. They are also incredibly durable and long-lasting, coming in a multitude of seemingly endless sources, such as marble, limestone, sandstone, slate, and granite.
Eco-friendly flooring, such as natural stone tiles only have one real impact on the environment, and that’s transportation. Otherwise, the planet is naturally reproducing stone through tectonic movement all the time, and there is no shortage of stone to speak of.
Reclaimed hardwood is kind of a no-brainer. First, you’re recycling wood that’s already been cut down, rather than impacting more trees. Secondly, reclaimed wood is super trendy right now. It offers a rustic and warm appeal to floors, furniture, and decor.
Finally, reclaimed hardwood is a type of eco-friendly flooring that lends itself quite easily to the DIYers out there.
Just make sure you’re using an eco-friendly finish!
Why Eco-Friendly Flooring is Important
It’s easy to distance ourselves when buying flooring, taking extra long showers, or using an excess of plastics every day. We think “it won’t make that big of a difference.”
Unfortunately, because the vast majority of people have that same mentality, it does make a big difference, but in the wrong direction. Environmentally conscious choices, such as eco-friendly flooring is the only way to move into the future.
Without a global change in the way we live and operate as an international society, we will absolutely lose our planet. There is ample, undeniable evidence we have been placing on the backburner for far too long.
Choosing eco-friendly flooring helps us protect our environment in several ways.
First, it helps us slow the astronomical rate of deforestation. Deforestation is the perpetual eradication of forests to make room for other purposes.
As you’re reading this, the equivalent of 27 soccer fields a minute of forests is being permanently destroyed.
Using Less Toxic Chemicals
Secondly, mainstream flooring companies use a myriad of engineered chemicals that are toxic to our planet and our health.
Using eco-friendly flooring companies can help protect our planet and your family from any adverse side effects.
Using Less Unrenewable Resources
Finally, eco-friendly flooring helps us slow down the rate of unrenewable resource usage. The more people who begin to go green, the more big-name corporations will be forced to do the same.
It’s simple, businesses exist to make a profit. People do unspeakable things in the name of money. Slowly killing our planet is just a cost of doing business for them.
When it’s no longer financially prudent to be indifferent, the whole world will be able to go green. Until then, nothing will change.
Do Your Part
The next time you’re remodeling your home, choose an eco-friendly flooring option. If it costs a little more money, rest easy knowing you’re doing your part and being environmentally conscious.
Additionally, look for ways to save water, energy, and resources in everyday life.
We’re running out of time to change it around, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference!