AIDAN ROSENAU, CARPET MASTERS, 2022
Save the world with eco-friendly flooring! Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but with some informed shopping you can make a difference. Here at Carpet Masters, we know that our customers care about the earth (Boulder- we’re looking at you.) Whether it’s carpet, hardwood, or tile, we have options that fit your style, budget, and family, while giving a little bit of love to mother earth.
When looking at eco-friendly carpet options, there are several ways of looking at the matter. You can choose a carpet that is made of recycled content, or you can choose a carpet that can BE recycled. There are even carpet options that are almost entirely made of natural materials (to reduce the number of synthetic materials in your home).
The first choice to explore is Infinity carpet. Have you heard the term “cradle-to-cradle”? A product that has a cradle-to-cradle design is made to be repurposed into a new product at the end of its first life cycle. One might argue that cradle-to-cradle designs are the most eco-friendly because they reduce or eliminate the amount of waste that goes into the landfill. Infinity nylon carpets are designed to be remade into new carpets at the end of their first life cycle, making them a very eco-friendly choice. Additionally, nylon carpets are extremely durable. Reducing the frequency of carpet replacement in your home is a major factor in reducing the environmental impact of carpet. It’s better for the environment and your wallet to buy a long-lasting carpet.
You may also want to consider a material called PET polyester. And no, the name has nothing to do with your four-legged companions. PET polyester is made from recycled plastic materials. If you are ever drinking a plastic-bottled beverage and notice that it has a recycling symbol with the number 1 printed on it, OR if it says it says “PETE” or “PET”, that bottle you are drinking out of could be a future carpet! PET carpets tend to be exceptionally soft, and they are affordable. Polyester carpets are becoming increasingly durable but are still not as long-lasting as nylon. This is a good choice for someone who would like to make a more sustainable carpet choice, wants something comfortable, and would like to save some money. It is also a smart choice for carpeting an area that is not subject to heavy traffic or wear. If you’re gentle on your carpet or have an area that does not get much traffic such as a guest bedroom, PET polyester carpet could be a fantastic eco-friendly choice!
Wool carpet is great for indoor air quality. According to Wools of New Zealand, “it has been estimated that wool carpets can continually purify indoor air for up to 30 years!” Wool is also good for the planet because it reduces the use of synthetics. Wool is very long-lasting when cared for properly, which helps to keep it out of the landfill longer. Although it would take a long time for wool to break down in a landfill, it’s much more biodegradable than synthetic carpets, which is an important aspect to consider when looking at a product’s environmental impact. Sometimes wool carpets can also be recycled. Overall, wool carpet is a great investment for both you and the planet.
There are a few ways you can be more eco-friendly with your carpet pad choice. There are many carpet pads available on the market which are made with post-consumer recycled content (more on that later). These can be made from things such as old running shoes. We also offer a carpet pad line called Healthier Choice. It is made in part from soybean oil, which is much better for the environment than making pad with only synthetic components. It is recyclable, has low VOC levels (which means better air quality in your home) AND it’s USA-made, which means less energy is used getting it from the manufacturer to your home. It’s slightly more expensive than your standard pad, but it’s extremely comfortable and is water-resistant throughout the entire material (it’s great if you have kids and pets.)
Engineered hardwood can be an eco-friendly choice because it can last an exceptionally long time in your home when cared for properly. Engineered hardwood is usually treated with a coating on the top which makes it resistant to scratches, thus extending the lifespan.
One example of a brand that cares about its environmental impact is Hallmark Flooring. Hallmark is FSC certified, which is something many engineered flooring brands can’t say. FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council. They are an independent non-profit organization that certifies wood products that fall within their guidelines. Hallmark engineered flooring comes from FSC-certified forests, which are required to follow several rules, including not infringing on the indigenous peoples living near FSC forests and conserving/ restoring the local ecosystems within these forests.
Perhaps the most sustainable tile option on the market is tile made from recycled glass. Tile can be made with both pre-consumer and post-consumer content. The difference between pre-consumer content and post-consumer content is that pre-consumer content never reaches the consumer during its first life cycle, and post-consumer content is used by the consumer as a product before being recycled. An example of PRE-consumer content is sawdust. Sawdust is a byproduct of cutting wood. Think about a sawmill that makes hardwood flooring. In this example, sawdust is created while producing the planks. It never reaches the consumer because it isn’t suitable for the original intended purpose- a hardwood floor. When sawdust is created during the cutting of wood, it is often saved instead of discarded. Resin or wax is added to make particle board, which can then be used to build a variety of things, including furniture. An example of POST-consumer content is a used soda bottle made of glass. The first consumer drinks the soda and recycles the glass bottle, which might then be turned into glass. We carry recycled glass tile options from companies such as Petra Slate, Florida Tile, and Daltile.
Speaking of Daltile, they are a notable example of a company that cares about sustainability. “More than 98% of Daltile's manufactured products contain pre-consumer (post-industrial) recycled materials"
Whether you’re looking for tile, hardwood, or carpet, we have many sustainable options available. There is plenty more information about eco-friendly flooring than has been included here. We would love to meet you in person and talk about your project. All the above-mentioned products can be bought and installed through Carpet Masters. Please visit our showroom in Longmont today to talk to a flooring expert who is happy to help you learn more about what type of flooring is right for YOU.
Carpet Masters of Colorado
618 South Sunset Street
Longmont, CO 80501
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