It's always been a good idea to take care of our planet, but these days, it's becoming fashionable, too. The most impressive homes today aren't just the biggest or the best decorated; they're the ones that are the most eco-friendly. From installing solar power to recycling your garbage, there are many small changes you can make to help the planet. One of these, which is gaining more attention, is eco-friendly flooring.
There are a lot of ways to make your floors more eco-friendly, including using flooring made from renewable resources or reclaimed materials, or even flooring that can be taken up and used again. You can even buy rugs and carpets made from planet-friendly materials.
Hardwood floors may be beautiful, but there is a growing concern over the ecological efficiency of slow-growing timbers such as oak and maple. An oak tree takes up to 150 years to reach harvesting age, though this is at the outside. But there are alternatives. Bamboo floors, for example, actually gives a similar look to hardwood flooring, and can be treated to achieve many different appearances.
Bamboo floors have a similar durability to conventional floors, and bamboo (which is actually a grass, not a tree) grows very quickly and reaches maturity in less than 5 years.
And you don't have to go that far afield to find green flooring materials. Linoleum, the old staple of the modern 1950 kitchen floor, is a surprisingly eco-friendly material. Invented in 1863, it is made by baking a mixture of flax and linseed oil, both very renewable resources. So, enjoy a retro look, and give linoleum a chance.
When you think of eco-friendly flooring materials, you might not immediately think of plastic and rubber, but there are flooring manufacturers who make their products either mostly or completely out of recycled materials.
You can get a very comfy and attractive floor made from recycled tires, and get endless conversations out of it. Other companies turn old, reclaimed roof tiles into new, stylish floor tiles. If you want to plan for the future, you can even install a tile floor that is designed to be easily removed and re-used when its time has come.
What about carpets? They don't get the short end of the stick in the eco-friendly flooring department. Carpets are available made from blends including bamboo, hemp, and other durable and renewable resources. Whether you want floor covering for your entire house, or just throw a decorative rug over your eco-friendly bamboo floors, there is something for you.
About the author: Glen R. Taylor served in the U.S. Army from 1994 to 2007. He has been both an enlisted man and an officer, and has worked in military intelligence and armor. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from Chaminade University of Honolulu. He is a published fiction author, and has been writing freelance material for Quinstreet since 2007.