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What is Green Flooring?

What is green flooring and the factors that determine green? Green flooring includes any flooring that is sustainable, ecofriendly, contains recycled content, is recyclable, leaves a small carbon footprint or has low VOCs (volatile organic compounds). There are different degrees of green associated with different types of flooring. If you are an Eco-conscious consumer there are a plethora of factors to consider when choosing a new floor. Here are a few factors for you to consider when you visit your retailer or shop online: Raw materials

  • Consider categories of flooring that begin as a natural product (wool, wood, cork) or are made from recycled materials.
  • Soda bottles can be melted down and recycled into carpet fiber.
  • Certain carpet manufacturers have the ability to take post consumer carpet and break it down to its original raw material. The new material can be manufactured back into carpet without any degradation of quality to performance or styling.
  • How products are harvested is critical. In this issue you will find an array of articles on topics like legal logging and chain of custody certification. Sustainably harvested products should always be selected.
  • Consider salvaged products. Many hardwood flooring manufacturers, for example, are reclaiming raw materials from riverbeds and dilapidated buildings.
  • Choose products that are certified as environmentally friendly. There are a number of third-party organizations that provide certification. These would include the Scientific Certification Systems, Forest Stewardship Council, GreenGuard Environmental Institute, Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Transportation

  • Be cautious of products that have to be transported long distances.
  • Choose products made or grown within 500 miles.
  • Shop locally when possible from vendors that supply locally.
  1. Installation
  • Use adhesives with low VOCs.
  • Choose water-based finishes over solvent-based ones.
  • Use and maintenance Once installed, some floors continue to give off gas compounds.
  • Avoid less durable floors, which have to be replaced more often.
  • Avoid high-maintenance floors that use harsh chemicals.
  • Consider floors that don’t have to be refinished.

End of life

  • What will happen to the floor when it has reached the end of its life cycle?
  • Can the floor be recycled or reused?
  • Can the floor be donated to a charity?
  • In general, synthetic products don’t decay, but they can be recycled.

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