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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 July 3, 2020

            How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

            How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

            Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

            Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

            I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

            You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

            Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

            When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

            I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

            Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

            Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

            If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

            Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

            1. The Inner Critic

            This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

            • Other people’s words—many times your parents
            • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
            • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
            • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

            The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

            Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

            2. The Worrier

            This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

            The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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            3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

            This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

            This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

            The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

            4. The Sleep Depriver

            This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

            The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

            • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
            • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
            • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
            • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

            How can you control these squatters?

            How to Master Your Mind

            You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

            Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

            There are two ways to control your thoughts:

            • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
            • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

            This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

            The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

            Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

            1. For the Inner Critic

            When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

            You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

            For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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            You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

            “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

            If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

            This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

            • They rile up the Worrier.
            • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
            • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
            • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
            • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

            Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

            Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

            2. For the Worrier

            Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

            Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

            You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

            • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
            • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
            • Muscles tense

            Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

            If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

            Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

            “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

            Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

            If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

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            Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

            Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

            For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

            “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

            Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

            Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

            “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

            Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

            3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

            Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

            The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

            I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

            Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

            Breathe in through your nose:

            • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
            • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
            • Focus on your belly rising.

            Breathe out through your nose:

            • Feel your lungs emptying.
            • Focus on your belly falling.
            • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

            Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

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            One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

            Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

            4. For the Sleep Depriver

            (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

            I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

            Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

            1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
            2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

            When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

            From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

            For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

            If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

            You can also use this technique any time you want to:

            • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
            • Shut down your thinking
            • Calm your feelings
            • Simply focus on the present moment

            The Bottom Line

            Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

            You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

            Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

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            Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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