Hardwood’s Green Story
Sustainability is no longer niche or simply nice to have. As more Millennials — and even some older Gen Zs — become homebuyers, that sustainability-focused mindset will extend to how they choose to furnish their spaces. For those looking for new flooring, hardwood offers a compelling sustainability story.
Hardwood floors are made from a renewable resource and can last for generations, which make hardwood a highly sustainable flooring option. In fact, wood — and other plant-based flooring products like bamboo and cork — is the only naturally renewable building material. With reforestation and conservation programs in effect for decades, U.S. hardwood industries have been at the forefront of ensuring a renewable source for our raw materials.
While some consumers might think that harvesting trees to make hardwood flooring is the antithesis of sustainability, that’s not the case. According to the North American Forest Foundation (NAFF), each year the U.S. plants over 1 billion trees and Canada plants over 600 million trees, spurring more than 50 consecutive years of net forest growth that exceeds annual forest harvests due to responsible forest management.
In addition to being a naturally sustainable product, hardwood flooring can actually have a positive impact on indoor air quality. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research has shown that because wood flooring is hypoallergenic, it improves a home’s air quality, whereas manmade materials detract from it. In addition to being hypoallergenic, the potential for contamination from pet dander, mold and dust is minimal.
Sustainability extends beyond the product itself. Manufacturing processes and transportation factor in as well. The way a hardwood floor is produced is also very sustainable and not much energy is needed. Many factories around the world operate on zero waste with minimal impact on their local environment. Also, hardwood requires fewer raw materials and energy to manufacture it than lookalike products.
Excerpts from FloorCoveringWeekly.com