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The green flooring blog keeps your up to date on all things eco friendly floor related. New to green living or already an expert on the subject? This blog is the place to share information and ideas on green flooring. Exchange green tips with other flooring bloggers and learn how green flooring can make your home more environmentally friendly. To view more flooring blog posts, visit the main floor blog at FindAnyFloor.com.

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Green Blog

What Makes Green Flooring Green?

By FAF Staff Writer, (495 words) Posted in Green Flooring on August 25, 2009
There are (55) comments permalink

Before addressing the question, let's briefly review what is meant by "green." The terms "green" and "eco–friendly," which go hand in hand, are much bandied about today in a world that has focused on global warming and the exploitation of the world's natural resources.

The media is filled with dire predictions of the environment in the decades to come. Arctic ice is melting in; natural forest cover rapidly depleting, the desert is slowly but steadily encroaching into arable land; the global water table is falling, and overall the sea level is inexorably rising.

Scientists have pinpointed many of these phenomena to mankind's blatant disregard for the world's ecology. Well aware of the potential deteriorating situation, world leaders have sat up and taken note. There is now an increasing awareness toward restoring the global ecological imbalance. This awareness has filtered down to every socially–minded citizen of the planet.

The expression eco–friendly or green relates to a philosophy in pursuing a lifestyle that is beneficial to the environment. The terms are applied to any activity in a person's life, but mainly focus in on the use of environmentally–friendly materials and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Possibly in any country in the world and particularly in the United States, the building industry is a huge part of the national economy. All this translates into an enormous input of raw material. Aware of its social responsibilities, the industry has responded by tightening building standards and encouraging the use of more green materials in construction, such as eco–friendly floors.

Flooring plays a large role in the building of a home or office. There are several green flooring options available, but what are the criteria that determine whether flooring can be classified as truly green and eco–friendly? Some of them are:

  • Flooring should be made of a sustainable material, one that is renewable. Examples of such materials are cork and bamboo floors which renew the source within a few years of being harvested.
  • Alternatively flooring should be made of recycled material. Examples are rubber flooring made out of recycled used tires, laminate made from wood chip discards and waste from textile factories.
  • The flooring should not contain synthetic materials and fossil fuel byproducts. Nor should they contain chemicals that are toxic and pollute the air.
  • The manufacturing process should not entail the use of high-intensity machines or volatile organic compounds (VOC).
  • Gases should not be released during the entire life span of the flooring.
  • Eco–friendly floors should be able to be recycled after its useful life.
  • What is the carbon footprint of the flooring? This point is little understood. What it means is the total amount of carbon emissions in the entire process of the flooring from the raw material stage till when it is installed in the premises of the user. This includes the emission during manufacture and transportation. Locally available flooring will obviously rate higher than one that has to be imported which will necessitate shipping emissions.

For more information about green flooring the US Green Building Council (USGBC) has a rating system for green floors and a set of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.

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