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5 Environmentally Friendly Flooring Options

5 Environmentally Friendly Flooring Options

Homeowners in general, are looking for ways that they can make their home more environmentally friendly, especially if they are planning on doing any renovations.

If you are installing new flooring in your home, then you may want to consider using a sustainable flooring material. Don’t let the cost of using sustainable flooring deter you – in many cases, sustainable materials are actually more affordable – and even manage to add value to your home!

The following are five different sustainable flooring materials to consider:

1. Bamboo Flooring

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    Bamboo flooring has become a very popular alternative to hardwood, in part because of its environmentally friendly qualities. Bamboo is a very sustainable source. This is because bamboo is actually a grass – and a fast-growing one at that.

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    Additionally, bamboo thrives in practically any climate, which is why it can be found in many products such as bamboo sleep products, bamboo furniture, bamboo kitchenware, etc. But it’s incredible sustainability isn’t the only draw.

    The following are a few of the other benefits that bamboo has to offer:

    • Bamboo flooring has a similarly elegant aesthetic as hardwood, which is why it’s become such as popular alternative.
    • Bamboo is extremely durable and long-lasting, in some cases just as durable and long lasting as hardwood.
    • Bamboo flooring is surprisingly affordable considering its quality.
    • Bamboo flooring is easy to take care of as long as you sweep it regularly.
    • Bamboo flooring that is scratched or has become discolored can simply be refinished

    2. Cork Flooring

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      Cork is a relatively new type of flooring material that is slowly becoming a more popular option for homeowners. Cork is a material that is produced from the bark of a cork tree.

      The reason that it is such a sustainable material is that the cork tree doesn’t need to be killed in order to harvest the bark – it can simply be stripped from the tree. The bark will regrow within three years, which means it’s a renewable source. Not to mention that cork trees are commonly found throughout Mediterranean forests. In addition to being a sustainable material, cork has plenty of other benefits.

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      These advantages include:

      • Cork has anti-microbial properties, which means it’s perfect for anyone with allergies as it is extremely resistant to dust and toxin absorption as well as mold and mildew.
      • Cork is soft yet durable, making it comfortable to walk on.
      • Cork has insulative properties that help it to retain heat, which means your floors won’t get cold during the winter.
      • Cork has a very unique and beautiful look that makes it a good fit for contemporary and modern interior designs.

      3. Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring

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        Traditional hardwood is not very environmentally friendly. Even if you purchase your wood from a farm that practices sustainable growing practices, trees must be completely cut down in order to harvest the wood – and they can take decades to grow back into maturity. But hardwood has a certain allure to it because of its timeless quality. If hardwood is something that you have your heart set on, consider reclaimed hardwood.

        Reclaimed hardwood is hardwood that is reused from existing sources. For example, the wood siding from an old barn that was torn down. Basically, you’re salvaging wood for the use of your floors.

        The following are a few of the additional benefits of using reclaimed hardwood:

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        • Reclaimed hardwood provides a unique look to your home, not just because of its timeless quality but also because of the additional character that salvaged wood tends to have.
        • Reclaimed hardwood is extremely durable – more so than regular hardwood even. This is because the wood came from old-growth trees instead of first-generation forests that new hardwood typically comes from.
        • Reclaimed hardwood will last a lifetime. Once you’ve installed reclaimed hardwood, you can expect it to last as long as you live – provided that you care for it.
        • Reclaimed hardwood is easy to keep clean as long as you sweep and vacuum on a regular basis.

        4. Rubber Flooring

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          Believe it or not, but rubber flooring is a thing. It’s actually been used quite often in commercial spaces, such as gyms and hospitals, because of its durability as well as its ergonomics. But it’s also a very environmentally friendly choice.

          First of all, you can use rubber flooring produced out of recycled rubber products, such as tires. Secondly, rubber won’t hurt your indoor air quality since it doesn’t emit nearly as many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or other carcinogenic substances as other flooring materials.

          Last but not least, rubber comes from a sustainable source – it’s a raw material that is produced from the sap that is extracted from tropical rubber trees. Rubber flooring has a lot of other things going for it as well. Some of its benefits include:

          • Rubber is low-maintenance since you can easily sweep or mop the surface and because it is resistant to stains.
          • Rubber has a naturally flexible nature that makes it a more supportive surface to stand on.
          • Rubber flooring is non-porous, making it resistant to moisture. This means that rubber flooring is a particularly good option for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.
          • Rubber flooring is available in all kinds of colors and patterns.
          • Rubber is extremely durable and long lasting due to its high density.

          5. Linoleum Flooring

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            A lot of people don’t realize that linoleum flooring is actually a very environmentally friendly flooring option. In fact, you might have even thought the opposite. This misconception often comes to be because of the idea that linoleum is similar to vinyl, which is a synthetic material that isn’t environmentally friendly in the slightest.

            However, linoleum is, because it is made out of sustainable materials that include linseed oil, tree resins, wood flour, cork dust, ground limestone and pigments. Not only are these materials natural, they are all biodegradable.

            In addition to coming from a sustainable source, linoleum flooring also provides the following benefits:

            • Linoleum flooring is extremely durable due to its coating, which makes it an excellent choice for high-traffic parts of the home as well as in commercial spaces.
            • Linoleum is a very visually flexible material because it can be manufactured to look like other flooring materials, including wood and stone.
            • Linoleum is one of the most affordable of all flooring materials.
            • Linoleum flooring is easy to maintain. You can sweep or mop it without worry since it is resistant to moisture, which is why it’s often used in kitchen spaces.

            While there are a lot of different factors to consider when choosing flooring material, one factor that you should really put some thought into is the sustainability of the material. These are five flooring materials that are not only environmentally friendly options, but that have numerous other benefits as well.

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            Last Updated on May 22, 2019

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

            One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

            In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

            Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

            1. Cat Camel Stretch

            Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

            Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

            Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

            Here’s a video to guide you through:

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            2. Go for a Walk or a Run

            This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

            Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

            The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

            Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

            Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

            3. Jumping Jacks

            Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

            Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

            4. Abductor Side Lifts

            Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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            Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

            5. Balancing Table Pose

            This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

            Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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              6. Leg Squats

              Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

              Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

              The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

              7. Push Ups

              You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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              An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

              Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

              This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

              8. Bicycle Crunches

              There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

              Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

              9. Lunges

              Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

              Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

              This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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              10. Bicep Curls

              You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

              Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

              Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

              Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

              Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

              These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

              You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

              Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

              More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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