In a world that is increasingly looking at provenance and sustainability, businesses are focusing more and more on products that are environmentally responsible. “Going Green” has become a buzz phrase for what we eat, what we drive, and even how we decorate our homes. Thanks to a growing number of organic and sustainable products, it is becoming easier to reduce your home’s environmental footprint.
Historically, production methods of rugs and carpets were harmful to the environment, and chemicals like formaldehyde can take months and months to dissipate. Increasingly, natural fibres like wool are being used without any sort of chemical treatment, though they don’t come cheap. For a true ‘eco-friendly’ option, make sure your underlay is not petroleum-based. There are alternatives now made from recycled rags.
Don’t confuse natural linoleum with vinyl, which has some similar properties but is entirely artificial. As you’d expect from the natural product, natural linoleum is non-toxic and bio-degradable. It is easy to look after thanks to its durability and resistance to marking, but to keep it completely green, choose your cleaning products carefully to ensure they are free of bleach and ammonia.
Wooden floors are beautiful, timeless and, if looked after properly, they will last for many years. If you’re choosing real wood as a green option, make sure it is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved. Hardwood is expensive, but there are alternatives such as bamboo or cork. If you decide that solid wood flooring is right for you, investigate some of the expert retailers such as http://www.ukflooringdirect.co.uk/solid-wood-flooring.
If the look of hardwood is what you’ve set your heart on, it is worth investigating engineered wood flooring, which has a thin top layer of wood stuck to plywood layers beneath.
For more information on the environmentally responsible flooring options available to you in your home, see the EcoHome website.
Recycled glass tiles are growing in popularity and are a real contender when it comes to green products. They open up a huge range of colours and patterns, and can be a useful alternative to ceramic tiles.
Whatever flooring your opt for, adding a beautiful rug is a personal touch that can make a house a home and can be a relatively inexpensive way of injecting some personality into your scheme.