Recently, more people are becoming aware that there is a need for us to protect the environment, not only for our own future, but for the future of the next generation. Laws are being drafted to protect the environment and all living things that need to live in it.
However, it must be taken into account that we, as humans, are living things as well. Protecting our environment means protecting our own health in the process. One of the main reasons many things that we buy are appropriately labeled as "environment friendly" is to tell us that they are friendly to us as well.
Since your home is an environment you spend a great deal of time in, you should ensure that it's safe for yourself and for the people around you. The Environmental Protection Agency has published certain studies to show that indoor environments can be more polluted than outdoor environments. If you want to know the source of many of these indoor pollutants, all you have to do is to look down at your floor. Installation of some types of carpet can release various volatile substances into the air, and some of them are known carcinogens such as formaldehyde and benzene. Some carpet has even been treated with various chemicals to prevent insect damage and/or to give it protection from moisture. Additionally, carpets often trap toxic lawn chemicals and allergens brought in from outside.
If you are looking for an environmentally friendly option for flooring, then hardwood is your best choice. Hardwood is a product from nature itself and is completely biodegradable. Also, eco-friendly hardwood is known to be durable and strong, and if maintained properly, it can literally last a lifetime. Eco-friendly hardwood floors are not likely to trap pollutants in the average home. In fact, all you need to keep a hardwood floor allergen-free is a quick sweeping or dry mopping!
Current environmental standards also dictate that eco-friendly domestic hardwood should be taken from sustainable and manageable sources, such as renewable forests. Because of such eco-friendly policies, you do not need to worry about having your home completely floored with hardwood.
There are also a number of finishing products available that are totally environmental friendly. Forward thinking companies have risen to the challenge of making products that give hardwood floors that beautiful sheen without the added cost of releasing pollutants into the air. Although eco-friendly hardwood finishing products are a bit harder to maintain, it is a small price to pay for a safer indoor environment.
For eco-friendly homeowners, bamboo is becoming the eco-friendly hardwood of choice. Bamboo, which is actually a grass, takes only five to six years to completely mature, whereas hardwood derived from trees take decades to mature. Also, bamboo may be cut and the roots may be left alone to grow again and again, while hardwood trees must be harvested entirely. On top of this, bamboo is extremely tough (harder than red oak) and is considered more durable than conventional hardwoods.
Remember, if you want a beautiful floor with a healthy environment choose eco-friendly flooring. Keep the environment safe and you will be rewarded with a healthier home!