Pros and Cons
Truly green carpet should be non toxic as well as any other green characteristics it may have.
Even so, you need to understand that there are pros and cons even to this more natural carpeting.
Traditional carpet is loaded with noxious fumes from the fibers, adhesive and padding. It has caused a tremendous amount of suffering over the past several decades (whether realized or not). See
this page on natural vs. traditional carpet
for more information.
Natural carpet is preferred, of course. And carpet has gained in popularity because of several reasons:
- Low price (in some cases)
- Ease of install
- Sound absorbing
But the CONS of carpeting are similar whether it is traditional or natural. You need to know these up front in order to make your best decision.
- Traps dander, dirt and dust particles
(linked to asthma and allergies)
- Tends to hold moisture
- Life expectancy depends on the level of care
- Staining or damage is common
- May not be enviro-friendly
Having looked at the pros and cons, following are several types of natural carpet that you might want to consider.
Wool carpet has become quite popular among green carpet advocates. One of the best known brands is Karastan. This company's website claims that they sell "the finest power loomed rugs in the world." They tout beautiful, bold colors, and they sell carpet and area rugs made of wool.
Wool is a rich luxurious fabric, but does have its limitations. If it is non toxic, that means it's not treated with toxic chemicals to prevent moth infestation. But if not treated, it is subject to insect damage.
Sisal carpet is sometimes used in a generic sense to refer to any type of natural fiber carpet. In particular though, Brazilian Sisal Fiber is very absorbent and is quite sensitive to humidity. You must take into account its temperamental nature when installing and caring for it.
The very name of seagrass carpet reminds me of a day at the beach!
And indeed, it is accurately named.
Sea grass carpet comes from a grass grown in the paddy fields of China. At a particular point during the growing season, sea water is used to flood the fields. Later the grass is harvested and then thoroughly dried. At this point it can be spun into a durable yarn and used for weaving. Though not green in color, it is considered to be a green carpet product.
It is difficult to dye this grass, so it is typically sold in its natural color.
Coir Carpet is a rather fascinating concept. Coconut husks contain fibers that are elastic in nature and very strong. Who knew coconut was good for something other than coconut milk and coconut meat?
The coconut husks are harvested and then soaked for a very long time - for many months, even. After this, the husks are beaten and washed, and finally completely dried. The resulting pale fibers are then spun into a type of yarn. More processing takes place until it is ready to be woven into exquisite floor covering.
Because it is susceptible to water damage, Coir carpet can be installed anywhere with the exception of kitchens and baths.
Surprisingly, it is a durable, tough floor covering.
Imagine - a green carpet made from your coconut milk husks! It would DEFINITELY be a conversation piece!
You've likely heard of jute because it is commonly used as a carpet padding or backing. You may not have heard of it as a carpeting option, however.
Jute is as soft as a baby's blanket.
But therein lie its drawbacks. Because of its softness, it is the least durable of all the carpets. And jute is not a good choice in high traffic areas. You must also protect it from staining and direct sunlight as it may fade.
Go from Green Carpet to Natural Carpet
Go to Bamboo
Go to Tile Floor
Go to Cork Floor
Go to Reclaimed Wood Floor
Go to Building Your Green Home Page
The time is NOW. The future is HERE. The color is GREEN.