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Environmentally Friendly Rugs: Options With Low Carbon Footprint

By: Mary Williams BA (hons) - Updated: 4 Apr 2011 | comments*Discuss
 
Flooring Environmentally Friendly Rugs

If you are looking for rugs for your floors at home and are keen to go down the eco route, and to minimise your carbon footprint, there are a number of options you can take. Some might involve buying a completely New Rug while others will involve considering an item second-hand. Then, of course, there are rugs made from recycled materials.

Buying second-hand

There are many who believe that to be truly environmentally friendly, everything you furnish your home with should be second-hand. Then, not only are you leaving no carbon footprint at all but it could also be argued that you are reducing the carbon footprints of others by reusing an item that could otherwise potentially end up in landfill.

For Second-hand Rugs try charity shops and bric-a-brac stores as well as car boot sales, the classified advertisements and online auction websites. Make sure your rug is in good condition before you buy it and ensure it is made of a material that can be easily cleaned.

Recycled material rugs

Rugs can be made of second-hand materials but also be new - and these flooring accessories will also have a low carbon footprint. Rag rugs are a perfect example of this. These brightly coloured soft furnishings have been popular for decades and were often an ideal way of reusing worn out clothing in poorer households.

Rag rugs can be made yourself from a whole host of materials. Buy a “how to” book or check out making a braided or rag rug on craft expert. Those who are really keen could even enrol in an evening class. Use all sorts of used fabrics to create a rug that is multi-textured in any shade you fancy – and can be a fabulous focus for your room.

Those without a creative bent will find plenty of places to buy rag rugs and other rugs made from recycled materials. Try eco or Fairtrade stores and online outlets.

Soft Natural Materials

Rugs that have been made from a natural material could also have a low carbon footprint. Check on the labelling that these are from a sustainable source and have been created through production methods that have low carbon footprints. You may well be pleasantly surprised by the vast range out there.

For a soft rug that will be wonderful underfoot try one made from pure wool. A natural-coloured rug that has not been dyed is probably your best option. If you do fancy something brighter seek a version where organic or handmade colours have been used. There are also some beautiful organic cotton rugs available online today. Many of these will have been handmade and, again, will give you something very different in style as well as being environmentally friendly.

A Chic Look

Continuing to consider rugs made from natural materials, sisal, hemp, jute or seagrass rugs can also look fabulous, giving your room a truly stylish edge. Available in a wide variety of different weaves, these rugs can all bring wonderful texture into your space. Once again, check the labelling on your rug to ensure its natural fibres have been grown in a sustainable fashion and produced ethically and with a low carbon footprint.

Also popular these days in flooring, is bamboo. Fast growing and widely considered to be one of the most sustainable materials, bamboo rugs can bring warmth to a room through their rich, “okay” colour and offer a sense of style that looks contemporary as well as brining a touch of the exotic East.

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