Over the years, there has been a debate on the ground.

industry on the impact their products have on the

environment. In 2003, a group of industry research and

technical specialists gathered at the University of North Carolina

examine science with regard to the positive or

negative attributes of materials found in products such as

carpets, rugs and linoleum.

The panel analyzed hundreds of studies regarding how

Carpets and non-carpet materials contribute to the environment.

quality and if there is a significant concern with

substances and allergens that are supposed to have been commonly

found.

The intention of the researchers was to try to settle years

anecdotal evidence and establish an industry standard to help

buyers and sellers of flooring products. A good part of the

The information reviewed came from the

Protection Agency, National Libraries of Health Sciences,

and other previously published industry experts.

A review of the entire literature led to an important conclusion:

materials found in the soil “play an important role in the

quality of life indoors. “Contributes to healthy design

factors, safety, aesthetics, air conditioning, ergonomics and

physical comfort. When properly maintained, carpets and

area rugs do not pose a public health risk.

While the group’s conclusion was great news for the

industry and the public, there is still a need to examine

soil impact on the entire environment, including the

role played by carpets and floors made of natural materials

materials.

Decorate like Darwin: by natural selection

With so many types of rugs available today, it is difficult

enough to make a style selection, let alone have to take

health and environmental considerations. Agreement

Clean carpets in good condition will be of great help

ease any worries. Area rugs have material

differences, however. Here’s a quick look at natural fiber rugs.

and other natural pavements:

WOOL RUGS

Water, water everywhere, so keep away from wool. Water

it is one of the greatest enemies of wool rugs. Lana, popular in

Oriental rugs, has a high moisture recovery and is

susceptible to attack by microorganisms. That may sound like

the bad plot of a Hollywood horror movie or an episode of Scary

Factor. However, save something that requires water,

as potted plants, made of wool rugs.

Aside from water, the long, coarse fibers of wool have the ability to

maintain indoor air quality and, unlike synthetic fibers, can

absorb indoor pollutants. From discarded carpet

represents a huge amount of waste: 4.7 billion

pounds in 2002 according to the EPA: any carpet that lasts

longer, like a hand-knotted wool rug, you will get the seal

approval of the Green Party.

JUTE CARPETS

Once used primarily as a carpet backing, Jute has come to

The great moment. As a full member of the Area Rug and

family of rugs, jute, ranging from light tans to browns,

is one of the finest and smoothest natural floor coverings

materials.

Composed mainly of plant materials, jute is a rainy season.

crop that grows best in hot and humid climates as parts of

China and India. While it can grow in rainy weather, jute

the carpet will not withstand areas with high levels of humidity. different to

wool, jute is resistant to microorganisms, but the material

in fact, it will deteriorate rapidly when exposed to moisture.

BAMBOO RUGS

Gilligan’s Island no longer monopolizes the bamboo market

flat. You do not have to live in a hut to use this material.

Bamboo, which is also a trend in cutting boards and

hardwood flooring has become a popular choice for the area

rugs. And their respect for the environment is obvious. No

trees to cut down, no waste. Bamboo is technically a grass,

and also a highly renewable resource. Mature in less

six-year-olds, bamboo is harvested over and over again since

same plants. Its strength combined with natural beauty

can add a contemporary touch to any living space.

SEAGRASS CARPETS

Seagrass is not something you thought it was

illegal. You can’t grow it in your backyard, but it seems

great in the house. Created from primarily tropical grass

imported from China, Seagrass, which only comes in a

natural organic green color, it is soft to the touch and

extremely durable and stain resistant.

SISAL CARPETS

Sisal is another natural fiber that has recently been gained

popularity with designers. The material is derived from a

cactus plant, cultivated in semi-arid regions such as Brazil and

Africa.

Sisal is stronger and more durable than other natural fibers.

making its staying power ultra-environmentally friendly. Water is

Neither is Sisal’s friend. The mat should never be used in

the bathroom or other humid areas of the house.

CORK FLOORS

Now you may be thinking about how a cork rug is made?

Well, it isn’t. Cork has been included in this discussion.

simply because it can be considered a cousin in the

fiber family. Used as a durable hardwood flooring, the

The cork oak is the only one whose bark can regenerate.

after harvest without harming the tree or the environment.

The tree is never killed or cut down and can produce bark for

centuries. Also, almost all the collected materials

are put to use.

Cork is known for its strong environmental policy, and when

feet hit the ground, it is known for its durability. The cork may seem

elastic compared to wood, but its “natural memory

capacity “and resistance to liquid penetration can make it a

attractive alternative.

LINOLE FLOORS

This is not a joke. Linoleum is back. So break the disco

ball and platform shoes. The vinyl almost sent linoleum to the

scrap yard flooring, but like flared bottoms, linoleum is

making a comeback. It’s contemporary and turns green

stamp. While vinyl is synthetic and petroleum-based, linoleum

is made entirely of natural materials, linseed oil being the

principal ingredient.

The resurgence of natural and retro products is behind

linoleum revival. As a natural product, linoleum can be

recycled and hypoallergenic, which benefits those who

suffer from allergies or asthma. Linoleum also contains

antibacterial properties that help stop the growth of

microorganisms.

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