Green building materials are becoming increasingly popular amongst builders, architects and homeowners alike. As more manufacturers of basic household materials, such as carpeting, catch on more green and eco-friendly building products are available on the market. Homeowners looking for green flooring or floor coverings made of sustainable materials should consider one of these options.
Natural and Biodegradable Materials
Homeowners hoping to cut down on emissions of VOC’s such as polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride, as well as the amount of chemicals in their carpeting, can consider the use of natural materials. A wool carpet or sisal carpet is made from entirely natural materials, both of which replenish themselves over time. Add a natural rubber backing, and the carpet is completely biodegradable.
Sisal and wool carpeting are both great options for homeowners hoping to install stain resistant, durable materials without the added chemicals. Both wool and sisal carpets naturally repel dirt and allergens, making them the perfect green flooring option for homeowners who believe in natural materials.
Nylon 6 and Recycled Carpet
As the focus on renewable materials grows, many carpet manufacturers have found a way to recycle old carpets, producing new carpeting with 25% to 100% recycled content. Carpets made with nylon 6 are often 100% recycled and recyclable. Check with manufacturers to find out the amount of recycled content in each type of carpet sold. The amount of recycled material will vary based on the carpet fibers, the color of the carpet and the material used, so choices may be limited in some cases.
As an added bonus, homeowners hoping to replace current carpeting with newer materials can often recycle their old carpet with the manufacturer of their new carpet.
Green Label Plus
To be sure that the carpet being purchased and installed has the lowest emissions of VOC’s possible, look for the Green Label Plus on any carpet being considered. The Carpet and Rug Institute periodically tests for VOC’s in all brands and types of carpeting. Those with the lowest emissions earn the Green Label Plus seal.
To further reduce emissions, look for rubber adhesives and backing to be paired with the carpeting. VOC’s may also be hazardous to the health of the people living within the home, so check for the Green Label Plus seal on all carpeting purchased to help the environment and the home’s inhabitants.
While it can be argued that there is no such thing as a truly green carpet, using natural materials whenever possible, recycling old carpet and purchasing carpeting with the Green Label Plus seal, homeowners can achieve a much greener flooring than ever before.