Green Your Life interior

Flooring

There are many environmentally-sound flooring alternatives. Consider the following options:
 
Linoleum – If you plan to cover your floor with linoleum, be sure that you ask for natural linoleum because it has a more favorable environmental profile than those made with synthetic substitutes, which may contain vinyl. .
 
 
Carpets –Indoor air pollution can also stem from carpets. Unless they are made from organic fabrics and dyes, they may be petroleum- based, emit VOCs, and contain toxins such as PVCs, xylene and other chemicals.
 
Significant resources and energy go into the production of carpets. To avoid this environmental expense:
- If you choose a new carpet, buy one that is made from recycled materials.
- Consider leasing a carpet that will be taken back to the manufacturer when you are through with it. Source:Green Seal
 
Cork Flooring – Environmental advocates are raising awareness about the dangers of poly vinyl chloride found in cork-vinyl compounds that are often sold as floor covers. Natural cork is a safer alternative. Be sure to ask your contractor to use environmentally safe adhesive when applying the cork tiles. Source:Building Green.
 
Bamboo – Consider bamboo flooring because of its environmentally friendly characteristics. Bamboo is a grass, and one of the fastest growing plants known to man. It looks like wood, but replenishes itself in two to five years – a fraction of the time needed to grow most trees for lumber. Also, since bamboo is a grass, it does not need to be replanted like trees. In addition to its aesthetic value, bamboo has proven itself to be a durable flooring material.Sources:Building Green; Environmental Bamboo Foundation.
 
Wood – As an alternative to freshly cut wood, try using reclaimed wood that doesn’t require the harvesting of new trees. Reclaimed wood is retrieved from disassembled buildings, landfills, and other areas. After careful inspection, worn and damaged pieces are discarded, and quality lumber is salvaged for reuse. Recycled wood that has not been treated with formaldehyde or other toxins is another option. Consumers can look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification as an indication of product quality.
 
Wood finishes – Be sure to inquire about the finish on new wood flooring. Ask your retailer what type of finish they use, and choose products with water-based finishes that are free of toxins.
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