How to Shop for Eco-Friendly Rugs

Going green” isn’t simply some fickle fad. It’s a critical investment in the future of our planet. And hey, we do the best we can, right? We buy our produce at the local farmers’ market, we recycle, and we shop for hybrid cars. But still there are eco hazards all around us, perhaps even right beneath our feet. Here’s a pop quiz: Do you know what your carpet fibers consist of? They may be polluting your indoor air with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as we speak. Yikes.

Trieste Jute Rug

Trieste Jute Rug

But there is good news. One of the easiest ways in which you can help to green your home is by shopping for eco-friendly rugs. Now obviously this can be a bit tricky, because if you head down to your local home improvement store, you don’t always know what goes into those carpet fibers. If you want to find the best custom area rugs that will brighten up your home without polluting your precious air, you need to be a savvy shopper.

What to Look for in Area Rugs

If you’re ready to revolutionize your interior design with gorgeous, environmentally sound area rugs, there are certain things you need to look out for. This means that you might have to do a bit of sleuthing, ask questions and read between the lines, but when armed with the proper knowledge, anyone can find the perfect eco-friendly rugs. Here are some important things to consider:

Pacifica Wool Rug - Eco Friendly

Pacifica Wool Rug

  • Is the carpet made from renewable plant or animal fibers? When researching carpets, look for key words like “natural,” “renewable,” “organic” and “biodegradable.” For instance, sisal carpets are made from firm natural agave fibers, while wool carpets offer a combination of comfort, style and sustainability. Organic cotton, seagrass and coir also make for great natural carpeting.
  • Smell the carpeting. This may sound odd, but bear with me. A lot of people are crazy about that “new carpet” smell, but what you’re actually ingesting are the toxic VOCs, which are released as gases into the atmosphere. To give you a bit of perspective, VOCs are the same compounds that give mold its musty odor. So if the carpet smells too good to be true, just run away.
  • Take time to learn about the rug manufacturer and retailer. Is the company committed to sustainability? Are the product descriptions transparent about the use of specific fibers, chemicals and manufacturing processes? If you can’t find specific information about whether or not the fibers are actually safe, this is always a bad sign. When companies take the time to create beautiful, natural area rugs, they make it known. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if necessary.

Shopping for Eco-Friendly Area Rugs

If you still find the notion of eco-friendly carpet shopping to be overwhelming, you can rest easy knowing that there are a growing number of companies that are specifically committed to the cause of bringing better natural carpeting to the marketplace. You can find a wealth of gorgeous, fully customizable area rug options from companies like Natural Area Rugs, which make it easier than ever to get the best without compromising your conscience. So add a touch of style to your home, and win one for Mother Earth in the process.

Purify the Air in Your Home With a Wool Rug

Many people are entirely unaware of how beneficial a wool area rug can be for their home. Wool area rugs are smart choice for the environmentally conscious are hypoallergenic, and have anti-bacterial qualities. Wool rugs are also harvested from a naturally occurring resource. The sheep may not even mind: they are shorn only a few times per year when their coats are thick and ready, just like an overdue haircut.

Wool is Hypoallergenic

Many people do not know that wool is hypoallergenic and will not cause allergies in most people. It is also a strong, sturdy fabric that can handle high-traffic areas of the home without deteriorating too quickly. And, wool tends to cost less than other popular rug materials, making it an ideal medium.
Anti-Bacterial Qualities Lots of people do not know that many odors in your home are actually caused by bacteria forming, which expel an odor that can be noticeable. Wool is in its very nature anti-bacterial and will help to purify the air in your home. Think of having a wool area rug as having a way to naturally clean the air and the pollutants found in and around your home.
Finally, wool can be woven into a wide variety of different patterns. Using natural dyes, weavers can create complex patterns using wool. Or they can tuft it and make delicate and soft shag rugs with generous piles. Wool is also commonly used in combination with another popular area rug material: sisal. When combined, the two make a sturdy, lush, high-quality rug. Sisal is fire-resistant, stain-resistant and sound absorbing. These qualities, when combined with wool’s anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic characteristics, make the combination of these two rugs a one-of-a-kind.

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