Consider products that begin as a natural product (wool, wood, cork) or are made from recycled materials (carpet)
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
- Try to select sustainably harvested products
- Consider salvaged products
- Choose products that are certified as environmentally friendly
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
- Use adhesives with low VOC’s
- Choose water-based finishes over solvent based ones
- Refer to the adhesives listed here:http://www.greenhomeguide.com/index.php/product/C114/
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 require use of harsh chemicals
- Consider floors that don’t have to be refinished
End of Life
- Ask yourself, 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?
- In general, synthetic products don’t decay, but they can be recycled