I’ve been working with a local Pittsburgh design company, Artemis Environmental, which focuses their entire design around green products. They have a “green standards checklist” that they use for each of their products to do comparisons on how green they are. I worked with them to analyze pros and cons for using hardwood flooring. When making a big purchase like a new floor for your home there are a lot of factors to consider. Artemis had a great checklist that I thought I could share to give you some food for thought while making your decision.
Here’s a few that I think are very important that I’ll discuss more below.
1. From where is the material source?
2. How is it manufactured?
3. What’s the overall environmental footprint?
4. How will this product effect my health & lifestyle?
5. How will my purchase effect the economy / ecology?
Many of these factors are considered in their checklist…. I’ll share some with you.
SOURCE OF MATERIAL:
Does it have Organic content ? Definitely, Natural solid hardwood
Ecosystem Effect: Is the Product harvested / sourced in sustainable way? It sure is, and we have a 3rd party certification to prove it. FSC certified & harvested locally. Learn more.
Is Employer responsible? – We oblige to all Osha’s safety standards. Have annual company picnics, Christmas parties, days off for hunting season, etc. It’s also a family business. 4th generation Hickmans are still in the business.
Does the Company Create green Jobs? – the “waste” bark & chips are sold to local landscaping and paper making companies.
Does Company promote & Preserve artisan Traditions ? — Yep. See for yourself! Check out our hand scraped floor.
Does Company offset its energy usage? — Proper timber management opens up the canopy for sunlight to reach smaller saplings. These trees take in more CO2 and give off more O2 than mature trees. We also use our sawdust for energy to run the dry kilns.
What is Environmental impact of manufacturing? — The most energy intensive process of manufacturing the floor is the drying in the kilns. We use our “waste”, the sawdust, to supply this energy. Check out some scientific facts on the life cycle analysis of a floor from the NWFA website.
What is the Purity of the Product? Does it require any potential hazardous materials? Solid hardwood is what it is. All natural. Grown by mother earth herself.
Emlenton, PA 16373. Material sourced and manufactured 100% here in Western PA. Within 500 miles of 3 of the top 5 largest cities in the US.
INSTALLATION & USE:
Does installation increase a risk of allergens such as mold and mildew? — Studies show hardwood flooring decreases the risk of allergens.
Is the product easy to Install? It’s recommended to hire a professional installer and finisher for your floor, but many people are able to do it themselves.
What is the Chemical Content of the required installation materials? Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring sells all their floor unfinished. It’s up to you and your installer to pick out the stain and finish. There are many green products that you do not need to worry about chemicals. Totally safe for kids!
Ease of Use? There are options to fit any lifestyle. Some flooring species are more durable than others.
Daily Maintenance & Repair ? Daily sweep, wipe down with vinegar & water. Hardwood Floors have proven to last hundreds of years. May need a resand and finish. Depending on your lifestyle time may differ, but 15 – 20 years is not unreasonable.
Is product innovative in design? The sky is the limit with design. Very versatile. Contemporary to very rustic and traditional. Homes to restaurants and commercial buildings.
What are the environmental effects of deconstruction? Hardwood flooring can easily last over 100 years, and it is a natural product so disposal has no harmful environmental effects. It can even be reused as fuel at the end of its life cycle.
Be an informed consumer! You have the power with your purchasing decisions to make a difference in the world!