Carpets and Rugs of Hawaii

Wool Carpets and Hawaiian Style Area Rugs

Archive for VOC

Green Washing and Going Green…Really?

I hear so much in my industry about how consumers and manufacturers are “Going Green”. Sometimes it makes you wonder how some people sleep at night. For those of us who would like to be a wannabe environmentalist 100% of the time, we are faced with great challenges. The environmental cause has always been dear to my heart from the time I became president of our environmental club in Junior High School (before Earth Day was established) to my present job of supplying environmentally-friendly products in the floor covering industry.

It certainly is an improvement for companies to be manufacturing recycled coke bottles into carpets, but is it truly an environmental product?  Does it biodegrade when disposed of?  Does it look better or last longer before replacement than its petroleum-based synthetic cousin?  Recycled carpets are still petroleum-based, so in my opinion do not offer the same environmental benefits of a wool product. Buying synthetic carpets also buys into my personal belief that purchasing petroleum-based products puts more money into the hands of the oil producing countries. If we truly want to be self-sustaining, then why are we making products that require thousands of barrels of oil to produce?  Recycled carpet can only be recycled once. What do we do with it after that? I guess you get my point on “green washing”.

The five original LEED approved floor covering products are still the products I’m going to promote.  They were and are:

  • Cork
  • Bamboo
  • Rubber
  • Wool
  • Wood

These products offer virtually no VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) and in the case of cork and wool no tree or animal is killed.  Neither one is affected by termites, which is a great application for many areas of the country and especially here  in Hawaii.

The great thing to remember about natural products and using them in your home or commercial setting is that they can be less expensive than their synthetic counterparts.  So you can be truly green, breath easier, and help the planet at the same time.

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