Leading a sustainable lifestyle is much more than putting plastic bottles into the bin marked for recycling and bringing your own tote bag when you go shopping. There are many spheres of life where you can pay extra attention that your actions are not harming the planet. So, if you’re building an eco-friendly home for your family or creating a green workspace, you also want to think about the flooring options at your disposal. Keep on reading for some of the best flooring solutions that are environmentally friendly.
Bamboo is a great flooring option if you’re trying to be sustainable. As one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet, this grass takes between three and five years to fully mature as opposed to hardwoods that can take up to 125 years. In addition to durability, bamboo is easy to maintain and install. While bamboo itself is eco-friendly and affordable, transporting it can cause pollution as it is mostly produced in the Pacific Rim. Moreover, some bamboo might emit formaldehyde so do some research before your purchase. Bamboo can be used in bedrooms, living areas, kitchens, and hallways but it’s recommended to avoid bathrooms and other wet areas.
Even more affordable than bamboo, you can also opt for cork. It is made from the bark of cork oak trees, which then grows back after being harvested, making it a very renewable alternative. Moreover, some of it is manufactured from recycled bottle stoppers. Cork has the ability to repel bugs, mites, and mold while it can also provide you with heat and cold insulation. What is more, cork is biodegradable and will easily be broken down into the environment once it no longer serves its purpose. Keep in mind that cork flooring needs to be properly sealed to make maintenance easy. High humidity as well as pet nail scratches or heavy furniture can result in damage.
For a timeless appeal, you can also opt for timber floors. They are very durable and can give any room an extra touch of elegance. Although wood can take a long time to mature, it is still sustainable as it can last you a long time and can be repurposed later on. Even if the timber planks cannot find a new use, wood breaks down naturally and doesn’t release various toxic materials into the atmosphere like some other flooring solutions. Furthermore, taking care of timber flooring is not difficult as it only requires mopping while you will also appreciate its toughness. Everything from kitchens to offices can benefit from this type of flooring so take it into consideration.
If you’re looking for a flooring solution for high-traffic or humid areas like hallways, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, perhaps linoleum is the right choice for you. All the materials that are used to manufacture linoleum are easily renewable, biodegradable, and cost-effective. In addition, this type of flooring can last a few decades and be burned as fuel when it’s no longer being used. As a matter of fact, the energy produced by burning linoleum is exactly how much is necessary to produce more of it, so it basically fuels itself.
A flooring material that’s seen a rise in popularity is concrete. While concrete slabs have been used in garages and basements for years, they have also made their way into the interior. Concrete can be stained, etched, and polished to create any sort of pattern that will elevate a room’s visual appeal. It is also very durable, easy to maintain, and relatively inexpensive.
Besides the long life cycle, concrete flooring can be made from recycled materials and recycled after use. However, concrete can be hard and cold as well as susceptible to moisture if not sealed properly. With that in mind, you might not want to put it in kitchens where plates can break easily or bathrooms where you can slip and injure yourself. Lastly, there are some environmental concerns as manufacturing concrete can take a lot of energy and produce significant amounts of carbon dioxide.
When looking for the best eco-friendly type of flooring for your home or office, you’ll be glad to hear that you have plenty of options at your disposal. From cork and bamboo to timber and concrete, weigh all pros and cons before you make your decision.
Written by Jasmine Anderson
About the Author
Jasmine Anderson is a Sydney-based lifestyle blogger and a toddler mom. She loves to spend quality time with her family, go thrifting, and spend just a little bit too much time on the internet. Connect with Jasmine on Twitter.
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