If you are planning on doing any remodeling this winter or spring, you’ve got to take a look at natural cork flooring. Heck, even if you aren’t planning on updating your flooring, you should at least look at it. This stuff is seriously cool.
In my humble opinion, cork is one of the MOST sustainable flooring choices out there. Not only is it made from totally recycled content, it has the additional benefits of:
~ Being healthy for the inhabitants of the homes using it
~ It has shock absorbing properties. Basically that means it’s easy to walk on and it’s good for people who have joint problems.
~ It has a great ability to dampen sound so it’s a wonderful choice for a second floor or for people who live in condos.
~ Cork flooring can help to reduce your heating bills. It provides insulation which will help to keep your home warm in the winter.
To truly understand the how natural cork flooring is made, you have to first understand the cork industry as a whole. I’ll try to make this as simple as possible.
For hundreds of year, tree bark has been harvested using a method that doesn’t harm the tree at all. Harvesters peel bark from trees every 9 years. Once the bark has been harvested, it’s sent to wine bottle stoppers manufacturers. Once the wine corks have been made, the cork flooring manufacturing companies take the post-industrial byproducts and create cork floors. So, natural cork flooring is double green!
Once the flooring manufacturers have the cork, they grind it into very small pieces. They are then coated with a non-toxic resin and made into planks or tiles that are used as flooring.
Another great, green property of cork flooring is that you can get it into all kinds of different shades and colors. The manufacturers aren’t using stains and dyes to create the different colors available, they simply bake the cork for different amounts of time to achieve different finishes.
If that’s not enough, cork is easy to install and take care of. The cost of natural cork flooring is about the same as hardwood or high-quality laminates. As long as you occasionally put a sealer on your floor, it will outlast most other types of flooring.
If there is any drawback to using cork, it’s that it is soft. Using furniture pads will help to protect your floor from damage.
If you are already using cork flooring, send us pictures of your application – we’d love to show them off!
Envirocork is a company that provides a wide range of cork flooring, here is an example of cork flooring that’s currently available on the market. You can check out some of their products at Amazon
Cork Flooring Flooring Durango Floors 1/2
Green Living Made Easy is proud to present the March 3, 2009 edition of The Green Living Blog Carnival. Are you interesting in green living? Visit these bloggers to learn more about "greening your lifestyle."
You've been trying to be green - and you're doing pretty good. But, now it's time to go on vacation. Vacation means travel, hotels, eating out, waste, etc. So, what's a green family to do?
The last few shoes that I purchased were considered eco friendly shoes. I’ve been trying to live as green as I can for a few years now, and I’m ashamed to admit that the need for green shoes escaped me until just a few months ago.
What I learned may surprise you. For one, shoe manufacturing is one of the most polluting industries in the entire world! And, did you know that the average pair of shoes travels 11,000 miles before they ever end up on your feet? You’ve heard of a “carbon footprint,” haven’t you? Well, shoes, even really small ones for little feet, have a HUGE carbon footprint.
To learn more about the problems with regular shoes, visit Green Living Made Easy.
The good news is that there are eco friendly shoes on the option. I was thrilled to learn that green foot ware was available in many styles and fashions. Like most women, I love my shoes and while I really want to be as “green” as I can be, it would really depress me if I had to sacrifice style. Thankfully, I don’t.
If you are considering making your next purchase an eco friendly shoe, look for the following:
~ Shoes that are manufactured in the United States – this means that have to travel less to get to you.
~ Shoes that use recycled materials. Some shoes recycled tires for the soles, which is great.
~ Shoes that use other sustainable materials such as organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp.
~ Look for companies that have recycle programs – meaning they will accept used shoes and will then recycle them.
~ Look for companies that support environmental causes.
~ Buy shoes that only use formaldehyde-free leather.
~ Look for shoes that contain the “Fair Trade” label. This means that they have been made by people who were paid fair wages and work in decent conditions.
To get an idea of what’s available, feel free to visit Amazon and you will see a variety of companies offering eco friendly shoes:
Eco Friendly Shoes at Amazon
Amazon offers a wide variety of eco friendly shoes. At last count, they had 155 different styles from a handful of different manufacturers.
Eco friendly resorts are the new big thing in vacationing. New hotels are increasingly building their hotels to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards. Some of the things these eco friendly resorts are doing include: