Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Green is not always about buying new

Anytime you purchase something, you have an impact on the environment. Planned obsolescence is a term used to describe the artificial short life of a product. When I think about this in terms of flooring products (this is a blog about floors), one of the first things that comes to my mind is carpet and even sheet vinyl goods. Both of these products have a very short life span. They wear out, mat down, tear, stain and are available in colors and even patterns that date themselves and become obsolete by plan. They are both oil based and treated with stain resistant chemicals and fibers from companies like Monsanto the chemical company (another video to watch sometime is the world according to Monsanto). When I think about the impact of s carpet on the environment, I have to multiply the negative impact by more than a few times. This is because in a 50 year period it will need to be replaced at minimum 3-4 times.

In contrast good quality wood floors can be in service in a home 50 years down the line. Wood, bamboo and cork floors are a quality, long lasting product and they do not become design or "style" obsolete. Not only is their manufacturing impact on the environment less to begin with, they have a lower overall 50 year cost of ownership as they do not require constant replacing and they provide for healthy interior living spaces. 

This video has been watched over 7 million times now. Its the Story of Stuff and the global manufacturing chain. It is direct, somewhat entertaining, very enlightening and only about 20 minutes long.  I recommend it to everyone. 

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