We’re all familiar by now with the most common measures we can take to make our homes more environmentally-friendly such as installing loft and wall insulation; fitting solar panels; installing low-energy bulbs and recycling as much as possible, but one aspect that is often overlooked is flooring.
There are in fact numerous flooring solutions that look good, don’t cost a fortune, and are very beneficial to the environment. Let’s discuss a few of them.
Cork is a fantastic material for flooring which is why it has been used for centuries. It’s very durable and comfortable, and it’s naturally resistant to mould and mildew, useful to know when you live in a mild climate such as ours. The cork is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees which are common in Spain and Portugal. So the tree doesn’t need to be cut down and can provide material for generations, and there is a fairly low carbon footprint for transportation too. One last plus – cork flooring results in very little waste. It’s one of the best green flooring options in our book.
Similar to cork, the rubber tree doesn’t need to be destroyed during the harvesting process. Rubber is great because not only is it hugely functional – non-slip, easy to maintain and durable, but it is very sustainable – at the end of its lifespan rubber can be reused in many cases, or if not, in landfill there is little risk of harmful chemicals seeping into the ground. It’s also good when it comes to cleaning – just a bit of warm water will do the job in most cases, no need for harmful cleansing agents.
If you’re wanting to install or replace a carpet then it’s worth asking your suppliers if they feature any ranges that incorporate recycled material. Many manufacturers have seen the appeal of “green flooring solutions” and have at least one range available. This type of flooring tends to cost a bit more, but it should last just as long.