Can your hardwood floors contribute to global warming? Which hardwoods are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council? Are some types of bamboo greener than others? Eco Timber’s Eco-Friendly Flooring Guide is a valuable source for information on sustainable hardwood flooring and a must read for any green builder. The Richmond, California based company has promoted responsible harvesting of timber and sustainable practices such as reclaiming and salvaging wood (their guide tells you the difference between reclaimed and salvaged wood) since 1992.
Topics in the guide range from legal and illegal logging and responsible forestry to the presence of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds in the wood and adhesives. Eco Timber tackles every step in the process from subfloors to floor pads to the panels themselves. Looking for a specific hardness of wood? They’ve got a scale. Do you already have a hardwood floor and want advice on green care and maintenance? Eco Timber has a section on maintenance, surface scratching, and refinishing.
From the guide:
Wood as an Eco-Friendly Building Material
As a material, wood is inherently “green,” especially in comparison to non renewable resources such as steel and concrete. The manufacturing of a non renewable building material such as steel studs requires 25x more water, it causes 2x the water pollution and creates 3x more CO2 in the atmosphere. Besides being renewable, wood is non-toxic, energy-efficient to grow and manufacture, as well as recyclable and biodegradable. Wood is the only major building material whose production yields life sustaining oxygen and absorbs the main agent of global warming, carbon dioxide.
Wood can be a truly sustainable resource, but to realize that potential it must be sourced and produced responsibly. Eco friendly wood can come from salvaged, reclaimed and recycled sources, or it can come from ecologically well managed forests and plantations.
Eco Timber’s Guide to Eco-Friendly Flooring is a valuable, concise tool for anyone building green.
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Picture courtesy of Eco Timber