Here are six ways to enhance the eco-friendly aspects of your home’s carpets.
Clean Is GreenWhile it seems obvious that keeping your carpets cleaner is healthier, it’s perhaps not as obvious that it increases the “green” factor. Keeping your carpets clean leads to better air quality inside your home, which leads to healthier lungs for you and your family. Clean carpets also last longer, requiring less frequent replacement. Choose eco-friendly, non-toxic products for stain removal and invest in a low-energy-impact vacuum cleaner if you can. Having your carpets professionally cleaned on occasion is also important because it removes the more deeply ingrained dirt and odors that can lead to your carpet requiring replacement.
Air It OutWhen you have new carpets installed, there will be some chemicals in the carpet. The chemical vapors are a part of most new carpets, and include protectants and sealants. Luckily, the chemicals can be aired out over the course of a few days. Leave windows and doors open, and run portable fans or an air conditioner for the next 48 hours. This will disperse most of the chemicals.
Use Greener GlueCarpets require some version of an adhesive, whether a tape or a glue, to keep them securely in place. You can choose greener and less-toxic options for the glue or tape that attaches your carpet to the floor. When you choose an adhesive for your carpet, choose one that is certified to have lower emissions of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that cause sensitivity in some individuals. Adhesives can also contain formaldehyde; you can avoid this by reading their labels. You can look for the “Green Label Plus” seal of approval on carpet adhesives that are certified to be more eco-friendly.
Consider Carpet TilesOccasionally, a major stain or tear on your carpet will require the installation of an entirely new wall-to-wall carpet. Carpet tiles were invented to address this situation and prevent the need for completely replacing your carpet to fix a small area. If you choose to use carpet tiles, you can selectively replace damaged portions of your carpet more quickly, easily and inexpensively. This reduces your carbon footprint by cutting down on the waste and materials required to install entirely new carpets. Carpet tiles are naturally “green.”
Try Recycled FibersMore and more manufacturers are offering carpet varieties made from recycled fibers. These fibers are made from recycled carpets or recycled plastics and make for beautiful, soft, functional carpets. If you are considering re-carpeting a room or two, choose a carpet made from recycled fibers.
Find Eco-Friendly ManufacturersWhen you are choosing new carpets, be sure to thoroughly research manufacturers. Many carpet manufacturers have active recycling programs. When you install new carpets, the manufacturer will recycle your old carpets. Some companies will even pick up your old carpet and take it to recycling so you won’t need to make an extra trip.
About the Author: Phil Kearny is a COIT expert and passionate writing about the latest in carpet-cleaning techniques. He recommends the professional services of COIT Carpet Cleaning for the best professional carpet maintenance in the industry.