Whether installing solar panels or painting with zero-VOC paint, homeowners are increasingly making eco-friendly home updates to reduce their carbon footprints, but according to Redfin, one frequently overlooked renovation is flooring. Not only are green flooring products made from recycled or renewable materials, but their long term impact on the environment also determines just how sustainable options like bamboo or cork hardwoods actually are.
Though a bit more expensive than traditional flooring, cork and bamboo are sourced sustainably, and they’re also durable enough to last for decades. Linoleum and recycled glass are also great alternatives to traditional products for the availability of materials involved and the lasting strength of the finished product. Those opting for carpet can find eco-friendly textile options like wool, which is made from natural resources and can last for hundreds of years.
Traditional carpet is not a sustainable flooring option for several reasons. It’s often made from petroleum which is a non-renewable resource. Additionally, carpet is often produced with toxins and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). According to NYC Health, “VOCs are chemicals often found in carpets, carpet cushions,” and, “these chemicals easily evaporate into the air and can lead to poor indoor air quality.” However, if your heart is set on carpet, there are sustainable carpet options to consider.