A product is considered sustainable if it is long-lasting, reusable or has a minimal long-term effect on the environment. Sustainable flooring is out of materials that are renewable, natural resources such as wood, bamboo or cork. The resources need to have been grown and harvested in a way that does not deplete or irreversibly damage the environment. They can be made from recycled or reclaimed materials, are designed to have a long life cycle so it does not need to be replaced as often, are manufactured with as little impact on environment as possible. They are made without toxic coatings or chemicals, installed without the use of toxic products or biodegradable.
The different types of 'green' flooring are:
- Carpeting - Starts from corn that is converted to glucose sugar. This sugar is then converted to monomers and then to polymers. The carpet fibers are then made from these polymers!
- Wood - This particular wood flooring is from sustainable green groves and is recyclable.
- Cork - Cork flooring is a completely renewable source made form wine cork waste or the renewable bark from cork oak trees. It is 100% biodegradable. It is made in an environmentally friendly manufacturing process. Cork is naturally rot-, mildew-, and fire-resistant so no chemical treatment is necessary.
- Recycled Rubber Flooring - Made from recycled tires, needs no toxic adhesives for installation, is durable and reusable.
- Carpet Padding - Even carpet padding can be made from recycled products.
These products may cost a little more than the regular products but the more that we use green products, the sooner the prices will come down.
(Craig Mlasko is the owner of The Works Displays & Exhibits which offers a wide variety of environmentally-friendly displays and accessories.)