There have been many sound-bite remedies to the dynamic issue of doing the right thing as far as the earth, our forests and our health are concerned. River-recovered wood was supposed to offer an eco-friendly harvest of logs that sank to the river bottoms over the centuries as they were being floated to the mills. It was later concluded that the disruption of the river bottom ecology and the resulting downstream silt redistribution was eco-negative. Plantation forestry now supplies over a third of all the industrial wood requirements and takes pressure off the primary forest, but in many places in the world it has replaced the primary bio-diverse forest with a mono-specie.
Great strides in eco-consciousness, encouraged primarily by the architectural community (and not government leadership unfortunately), have pushed environmentally conscious design to the forefront. However, the most recognized environmental rating system for construction rewards the use of carpet made from recycled plastic soda bottles. Carpet? Plastic? Soda? Eco-Friendly? Can those words be used in the same paragraph?
Renewable, biodegradable, beautiful, durable wood flooring that outlasts that carpet by a factor of 10, takes less energy to produce, uses less embodied energy, leaves no toxic trail, has no waste by-products, harbors no allergens, and adds value to the property, gets no points at all, and it endures more scrutiny than any of the other building materials. Wood is inherently the most environmentally responsible building material… and especially when compared to any other floor covering. Concrete, vinyl, carpet and even quarried products are environmental disasters by comparison. Wood, and other plant-based building materials, are the only building materials that satisfy two cornerstones of environmental responsibility: renewable, and bio-degradable.
Planet Hardwood has other eco and people friendly products for buildings other than wood bamboo and cork flooring… like Safecoat paints, stains, coatings and cleaning products, American Clay Plaster, zero VOC mastics and finishes for wood flooring. Perhaps “spreading our footprint” is a poor choice of words. Products that leave no footprint on our world, or on our DNA, is the goal.