Renovating or building a new home is an opportunity for homeowners to do their bit for sustainability and our planet. In this blog post, we say what is it and wherein the home eco-friendly choices can be made. Let’s first look at the definition of sustainability and why it’s more than just a marketing ploy.
Sustainability – What Is It?
Simply put, it’s the action of taking or using something from the environment without causing depletion or harm. Sustainability is described in Wikipedia as a pursuit of a common ideal.
“Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Therefore using of renewables, and green materials in building materials and accessories, instead of products that are full of harmful compounds or hazardous substances which include: insolvents, PVC, and human-made chemicals.
Wikipedia also says it’s about finding balance and choosing development and production methods that don’t desecrate the land or add to our climate change woes.
Homeowners Do Have A Say
The homeowner can end up with little say in what materials are used the actual construction of a new build or major renovation, due to cost, and the need to use products and processes that meet the building code of compliance. However, homeowners do get a say in what ends up in their home, i.e. the furnishings including; wall coverings, floorings, cabinetry, and accessories.
We can make more discerning choices now. When little was known about climate change, much of what ended up in our homes were made with non-renewables like byproducts of fossil fuels. Harmful substances were readily used in the production of just about everything. Today we’re in a better place. More knowledge of how we are ruining the planet and what we can do about it has provided a more eco-friendly product. From beds to baths, a discerning purchaser has a broader range of ‘green’ choices.
Homeowners are now interested in materials and the manufacturing process. Flooring is one product that’s received a lot of attention and purchasers are making better choices in flooring. So much so, that Wikipedia also has an entry for ‘sustainable flooring’, which leaves no excuse for ignorance about the various types of floors that are made from renewable resources, free of toxic chemicals and readily available. Plus more buyer interest in sustainable flooring products has increased competition among manufacturers and retailers which has lowered the price and now the average wage earner can afford the green option.
Let’s look at flooring types that make the grade and why the time has come for all new flooring to be green friendly.
Environmentally Friendly Flooring
Using recycled materials or just reusing flooring is doing good for the planet. You can also elect to use recycled product used for another purpose like wood.
Recycled or Reclaimed Wood
Repurposing wood is fun. Reclaimed old swamp trees are a popular choice for flooring. There are lots of hardwoods available too, like oak, ash, and maple. Using recycled wood is also attractive as it adds character to the home, and it’s a feel-good story. E.g. the wood came from an old school or library.
Bamboo and Cork
Bamboo and cork are renewable resources, so they tick the box for looking after the environment.
Other Green Flooring Types
Have you heard of poured rubber flooring? Or HTC super-floor? You’ve heard of polished concrete though, and HTC super-floor is a twist on that. There are also types of vinyl and polyurethane floors that get the green pass mark, so with so much variety, all new flooring should be getting the green-friendly tick.
Discerning consumers are voting for renewables with their purchases and homeowners are fast realising they too have a say in what materials they use in the home. Flooring is a big footprint so using options like hardwood flooring or bamboo not only looks great, it’s also good for the planet!
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