Most people want their carpet to be soft and comfortable, but some eco-friendly carpet choices, including jute and sisal, are anything but. Don't get stuck with a rough, uncomfortable carpet in an effort to save the planet. Instead, opt for one of these carpet varieties that are both soft and good for the earth.
Eco-Friendly Benefits of Wool
Wool is a renewable and eco-friendly resource. It grows continually on the backs of sheep, and it is shorn away each summer to keep the sheep cool and to be used for materials like carpet and clothing. Sheep are typically raised on grass pastures, which is an eco-friendly method of farming. In all, wool carpets take about 1/8 the energy of nylon carpets to produce.
Wool is an excellent insulator. This may lead to lower energy bills, as adding wool carpet is essentially adding an additional layer of insulation to your floors.
When it comes time to dispose of wool carpet, it is entirely biodegradable, unlike synthetic carpets that may spend hundreds of years sitting in landfills. Sometimes, wool carpets can even be recycled at the end of their use.
Living With a Wool Carpet
Wool carpets feel soft underfoot. They are naturally fire-resistant, which is good news if you are worried about safety. Additionally, wool carpets are exceptionally easy to keep clean. The dense material tends to trap dust particles in its upper layers, where they are easily vacuumed up. Nylon carpets, on the other hand, end up letting dust sink to their deeper layers, where it is nearly impossible to remove.
Spills are also easy to mop up, since wool is naturally water-repellant. As long as you get to a spill quickly, you should not have a stain.
One minor downfall of wool carpets is that they do need to be professionally cleaned. Using a standard home carpet shampooer is not really an option, since it exposes the wool to too much moisture and may cause it to shrink. Wool carpets can also be more expensive than synthetic carpets and carpets made from less desirable natural materials like jute and sisal.
Organic Cotton Carpet
Eco-Friendly Benefits of Organic Cotton
If you're considering getting cotton carpet, be absolutely certain you choose organic cotton. Conventional cotton farming uses a lot of pesticides and is not at all an earth-friendly operation. Organic cotton, however, is grown using eco-friendly practices like crop rotation and hand weeding, and it is a natural, biodegradable carpet material that can be broken down naturally when you're done with it.
When you purchase organic cotton carpet, also make sure it is dyed naturally. Some cotton carpets may be dyed using synthetic chemicals that give off compounds that are not good for the planet. By choosing a naturally dyed organic cotton carpet, you're reducing emissions of these volatile compounds.
Living With a Cotton Carpet
Cotton carpet is durable and soft. It wears well, and it is easy to clean. You can easily clean it with a home carpet cleaner if desired, as exposure to water is not an issue. There are many eco-friendly carpet shampoos out there that will work well with cotton. Just make sure it dries out quickly to prevent molding.
Cotton carpets come in many different styles. Choose longer, fluffier ones for living rooms and bedrooms, and shorter ones for dining rooms and hallways.
The downfall of cotton is that it does tend to attract dust. You'll have to vacuum it often to keep dust at bay. Spills are also absorbed into it easily, so you'll want to keep an eco-friendly stain remover on hand to deal with spills.
Both organic cotton and wool are safe, earth-friendly, comfortable alternatives to conventional nylon carpet. Be sure to buy your carpet from a reputable company, and remember that the way it is installed matters, too! Choose eco-friendly carpet padding as well, and make sure your installer uses safe adhesives. You can learn more about your flooring options by visiting McNamara's Carpet.Share