“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 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:
- 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.