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Carpets for the environmentally conscious office…

Landlords looking to up the value of their commercial properties should pay close attention to the green factor when choosing an eco-friendly carpet for their offices.

‘Eco-friendly’ is on everyone’s lips these days. Fierce competition among designers and manufacturers has placed carpet design in the forefront of sustainable flooring innovations. Whether it be area rugs, wall-to-wall installations or fully customizable carpet tiles, carpet manufacturers in the UK are putting an emphasis on recycling and natural materials with limited environmental impact, and the beneficiaries of this green endeavor don’t stop at the planet.

Landlords and property agents looking to up the value of their commercial properties and attract carbon-conscious tenants should pay close attention to the green factor when choosing a carpet for their offices.

 

What to look for in an eco-friendly carpet?

 

The most environmentally friendly carpets are made from natural, renewable fibres; this includes organic wool and cotton, jute, bamboo, sisal, seagrass and coir. That being said, looking at the ‘made of’ list doesn’t guarantee a 100% eco-friendly carpet. Indeed, some carpets have been treated with insect and flame repellents that will cause some of the worst (dangerously invisible) off-gassings.

These off-gassings usually come from the carpet backing, so be sure to look for backings that have been sewn or glued using non-toxic adhesives low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs.) Some of the best carpet backings or pads are made from non-synthetic latex, camel hair felt, or untreated wool. A CRI Indoor Air Quality label is what you want.

Tessera loop pile carpet, Forbo

If your carpet isn’t made from sustainable materials, it can still be eco-friendly if it is recycled. Some are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles – you’ll find them under the name of PET carpets, or P.E.T carpets  (polyethylene terephthalate.) Some advantages to PET fibres include stain and abrasion resistance and low moisture absorption. Other rugs are made by recycling old, used carpets, provided they are in suitable condition to be recycled.

 

Who manufactures eco-friendly carpets?

Interface

In 1994, Interface started the first carpet tile recycling initiative. Known as ReEntry, the program now involves separating the carpet from its backing and recycling more product into new Nylon fibre. Interface is also on a ‘Mission Zero’ to completely eliminate the company’s environmental impact by 2020.

On-line, off-line carpet collection, Interface

Desso

Desso’s innovative Take Back™ programme ensures that worn-out carpet tiles are recycled into new carpet products. Defying the cradle to grave model, Desso’s ambitious initiative follows the Cradle to Cradle® approach pioneered by Professor Michael Braungart and architect William McDonough.

In addition to its carpet manufacturing, Desso is committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by increasing its use of green electricity and covering its roof by 25,000 m2 of solar panels.

Take Back™ programme, Desso

Milliken

Specialised in minimising waste during its manufacturing process, Milliken focuses on the use of recycled materials in lieu of petroleum and other oil-based components. Milliken’s eco-friendly carpet uses an ECONYL® nylon yarn made from equal parts post-industrial and post-consumer recycled fibres. In addition, the company uses 90% recycled polyurethane for its Comfort Plus® range of lightweight, carpet tile backing.

Arctic Survey commercial carpet, Milliken

Forbo

Forbo recycles old carpet, fishing nets and plastic bottles to manufacture innovative eco-friendly carpets such as the Coral entrance flooring collection. Forbo’s Tessera tiles contain over 58% recycled content by weight, while their Westbond tiles have a minimum of 70% recycled content in their backing. Forbo’s carpets are also easy to clean thanks to a system called Dry Fusion which requires less water and fewer chemicals to perform.

 


Coral entrance flooring, Forbo

Recycling is one of several other factors to take into consideration when choosing the right flooring for your office. An invaluable tool in the landlord’s toolbox, office flooring is an important decision.

Written by Elissaveta Marinova of Re-public.
Source: Re-public Space Ltd.

5 Ways YOU Can Help Save The Earth

Are you concerned about the earth? We are too. 

We need to face the facts, take joint responsibility and find ways to form good habits that will help save and preserve the beautiful nature of the planet we call home.

This is a simple Woosh list to make you earth’s new eco superhero:

Conserve water:

Sounds simple, right? That’s because it is. Wasting water is one of the biggest contributors to making The Earth feel little sad. How can you help? Fix that drippy tap that has been annoying you since the year 2000, don’t wash dishes under continuously running water, don’t over water your lawn- here in the UK we get enough rain to sink a ship- lets use it to our advantage. Use a water collection system in your garden, in times of need- use that supply for watering your lawn. You knew this one was coming, it’s an oldie but a goodie… turn off the taps when brushing your teeth! We are supposed to brush our teeth for 2 minuets, if we all leave the tap running whilst doing our teeth this wastes 6 litres a minuet! So 24 litres per person per day- in other words a lot of wasted water- and that’s just on our teeth.

Compost:

Think about how much food we chuck a year. Reducing the amount of solid waste you produce means less landfill (equals happier Earth). 18 million tonnes of food goes to landfill every year. If we could even compost half the food waste we’d be doing a grand job. Not only does this reduce nasty landfill, the compost also helps our garden grow green and lush.

Plant a tree:

This is so simple. Like Nike says; “Just do it”!

Energy save:

Turn off lights when you’re not in the room (said every dad EVER!). You may be afraid of the dark, but your sofa isn’t (nor is The Earth). Unplug appliances when they aren’t in use. Instead of turning them off after use, just unplug. Make this a habit.

Recycling:

Putting cans and bottles into a different bin really can make a difference.  If an office building of 4,000 workers recycled all of its office paper waste for a year, it would be the equivalent of taking almost 200 cars off the road.  Check out our article on reincarnated sanitary waste and find out what we do with our sanitary and nappy waste here.

So there we are…5 Ways to help you become a true Eco Worrier.

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