While a lot of people talk about eco-friendliness and claim to live according to its principles, the truth is that most of them don’t really know what it takes for a construction or design material to be eco-friendly. This particular problem is something that you’ll encounter when choosing your flooring option. Most commonly, they believe that an eco-friendly material is the one that’s not polluting the environment and although they are definitely right, this is just one of many ways in which a material may be eco-friendly.
Therefore, the willingness to go green is merely the first step on this path. Once you’re sure that this is your objective, you need to learn how to make a distinction between an eco-friendly flooring option and the material that is harming the environment. Here are several tips to help you out.
1. The resilience
An eco-friendly flooring option is a resilient one. Why? Because it doesn’t require replacement as often. This means that once an industry spends energy and resources enough to create materials for your floor, it won’t have to do so in the years and years to come. In other words, the very fact that your floor is sturdy and damage-resistant makes it somewhat eco-friendly. For instance, this is what turns Vinyl flooring into an eco-friendly choice, even if this material wouldn’t be the first one to come to your mind.
2. The proximity of the manufacturer
One of the things that a lot of people oversee is the fact that the proximity of the manufacturer may also make a material eco-friendly.
Transportation is one of the world’s largest polluters and the very fact that you don’t need to have your flooring materials dragged from half-way across the continent may be enough to make the difference. For instance, if we were to continue with the above-mentioned Vinyl example, it would be greener to look for Vinyl flooring Sydney suppliers or manufacturers for your NSW home, than to search throughout the entirety of Australia.
3. Energy efficiency
In order to make any product, a manufacturer has to use a certain amount of energy and resources. This is the reason why recycled steel is eco-friendly and regular steel is not necessarily so. Speaking of eco-friendly flooring materials, bamboo, linoleum, vinyl, concrete and cork are usually a good choice. One last thing we need to mention is the fact that cork is relatively new in this field, yet, it’s rapidly gaining in popularity and will probably continue doing so in the future.
At the very end, you need to understand that not all design materials are completely safe to be around. Sure, when it comes to potentially hazardous construction materials, most people automatically think of lead or asbestos, neither of which are present in most commonly used flooring options. Here, on the other hand, you need to keep in mind that generalization usually leads to bad conclusions. For instance, while vinyl can be toxic, a quality made and installed vinyl floor is completely safe. This is why you need to pay close attention who you’re buying it from. On the other hand, while wood is supposed to be safe, , flooring made from treated wood is all but safe.
At the very end, going eco-friendly may be easier than you have assumed. If nothing, by understanding that terms such as eco-friendly and non-toxic are not the one and the same, you might soon realize that the nature of the material is not all that matters. It’s all about the context and in order to really make a difference, you’ll have to learn how to look at the bigger picture. With that in mind, the above-listed four tips might just come in handy.