Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource that can be used to produce a very durable hard surface for flooring. Products can be constructed with solid bamboo of one or more plies or with a single layer of bamboo that is cross-laminated on top of wood.This fact sheet discusses: environmental considerations such as energy, water, resource, and health impacts; practical considerations such as cost, specification, and maintenance info; and applicability to various Green Building Guidelines and Rating Systems.
Carpet is the most common floor covering in homes today due to low cost, comfort, and availability of multiple colors and patterns. Carpet is made from woven materials, often petroleum-based fibers like nylon or olefin, attached to a synthetic backing with an adhesive. Each of these components has associated environmental implications from resource conservation and indoor air quality. "Green" carpet includes natural fibers such as wool, jute, sisal, sea grass, coir or recycled PET (polyester) plastic.
Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree and is typically harvested every nine years from the Mediterranean region. It is a natural, renewable product that can be used anywhere a resilient floor is needed. Cork generally comes in tiles, planks, or sheets of various sizes, is extremely durable, provides acoustical and thermal insulation, cushions underfoot, is resistant to moisture damage and decay, and is easy to clean and maintain.
Many people consider the kitchen to be the heart of a home, the place where nourishing food is prepared and guests tend to gather; and perhaps countertops are then the heart of a kitchen. Between preparing food and drinks, cutting bread, and using the surface as a trivet, dish dryer or eating place, topped off by aggressive scrubbing, countertops take a lot of abuse and require high durability in the average kitchen. With myriad options and so many performance demands, how does one choose the greenest surface? Read this fact sheet to help you make the best decision.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has established standards in sustainable forest management and created a mechanism, third party certification, that ensures that they are followed. In addition to addressing its environmental impact, the FSC considers the impact of logging on local communities and indigenous peoples and supports their interests.
Natural linoleum is a durable resilient flooring product made from linseed oil (pressed from the flax plant), pine resin, wood flour, cork powder, limestone dust, natural pigments, and jute. Natural linoleum can be used anywhere a resilient floor is needed, as well as for countertop and desktop applications. Natural linoleum is available in tiles and sheets.
Conventional paint contains a multitude of harmful chemicals that off-gas into the air, negatively affecting the health of people and the planet. These paints release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are a class of carbon-based chemicals that have the capacity to evaporate readily at room temperature. Fortunately, you can easily avoid generating pollution and unsafe living spaces and still have beautiful walls of any color by using low-VOC, zero-VOC, recycled, or natural paints.
Ceramic tile is a beautiful, inert material used as a durable finish for floors, countertops, and walls. While somewhat energy intensive to produce, the environmental impacts are offset by ceramic tile's longevity. Recycled-content ceramic tile provides additional environmental benefits; in addition to using up to 100% waste glass, they are often more durable and moisture and stain resistant than their non-recycled counterparts.