Recycling is flourishing in home décor options

Recycling, all in favour raise your hand.

I thought so! Everyone is on side with recycling, I haven’t met one person who has said they are against it and even if they were I doubt they would admit it. Recycling increases in the past decade has paved the way for products to use recycled content in their manufacturing and no one has embraced this concept quite like the flooring industry.

Recycled content is now available in everything from carpet underlay to laminate to area rugs. What was a mere concept a decade ago has now become industry standard and the mark of excellence for others to achieve. It has driven companies to become extremely creative and high tech with their manufacturing processes which has resulted in incredible products. We have found that using recycled materials in a lot of cases results in a stronger and far more durable product. I do believe a better mousetrap has been invented.

Take for example carpet fiber; when I began designing in 1998 carpet was made from nylon, wool or polyester. Nylon was a superior product and polyester was the ‘Okay, buy this if you can’t afford any better’ option.

Fast forward to 2012 and I am astounded at the new carpet fibers arriving in our store. Polyester has revamped itself entirely and now offers superior stain resistance and hard wearing products without the fuzzing and shedding it used to be notorious for. Innovative fibers such as Triexta (made from corn sugar) and Chromolon (recycled plastic bottles) are now being used regularly by manufacturers who are looking to increase their use of recycled and renewable materials.

I toured the Mirage hardwood manufacturing facility a few years ago in Quebec and was impressed at their efficient methods of production. I thought it was fairly basic; order in wood and make it into flooring. But wait, there is more! What is unacceptable for their superior flooring standards is reused and recycled into pallets for shipping. The scrap and waste is further recycled and ground into sawdust for use in their click MDF cores – industrious and very little wood is wasted. I admire their sense of responsibility for this incredibly precious resource.

I am always encouraged when someone looks at a problem and is able to arrive at a creative solution. The problem: discarded tires – unsightly and hazardous and taking up all kinds of space. The solution: recycled rubber flooring for gyms, playrooms and schools. Flooring that is durable and very practical while helping reduce those mountains of old tires.

Have you checked out leather floors? Honestly, these floors are amazing and stylish and made from almost 100% recycled materials! The leather surface is composite leather made from the scraps created by auto and furniture manufactures, the surface is adhered to an MDF core which is made from the recycled wood waste I mentioned earlier. This product is durable and fashionable, almost the perfect floor! (www.torlys.com)

A simple Google search will put you in touch with all manner of recycled flooring and of course other products for your home such as recycled glass tile, countertops and various flooring products. It is trendy and responsible to recycle your household waste, why not consider buying more products made from recycled or renewable products for your household?

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext. 227 or email her at klewis@carpetcolourcentre.com.

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