Launch Slideshow

Flor. Fez carpet tiles are made with 80% post-consumer recycled-content PET face fibers and come in seven colors. The companys scalable system of modular squares allows specifiers to create custom designs and shapes, while helping them order only as much as needed to fill the space, reducing waste. The company offers a Return & Recycle carpet takeback program. 866.281.3567. www.flor.com.

Green Carpets and Cushions

Green Carpets and Cushions

  • Bentley Prince Street. Clodagh Natural Slate, a re-colored version of the companys wool flat weave, features an 80%20% wool-nylon blend. It includes Protekt soil/stain protection and comes in 10 colors. It is Green Label Plus certified. 800.423.4709. www.bentleyprincestreet.com.

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    Bentley Prince Street. Clodagh Natural Slate, a re-colored version of the companys wool flat weave, features an 80%20% wool-nylon blend. It includes Protekt soil/stain protection and comes in 10 colors. It is Green Label Plus certified. 800.423.4709. www.bentleyprincestreet.com.

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    Bentley Prince Street.
    Clodagh Natural Slate, a re-colored version of the companys wool flat weave, features an 80%20% wool-nylon blend. It includes Protekt soil/stain protection and comes in 10 colors. It is Green Label Plus certified. 800.423.4709. www.bentleyprincestreet.com.

  • Flor. Fez carpet tiles are made with 80% post-consumer recycled-content PET face fibers and come in seven colors. The companys scalable system of modular squares allows specifiers to create custom designs and shapes, while helping them order only as much as needed to fill the space, reducing waste. The company offers a Return & Recycle carpet takeback program. 866.281.3567. www.flor.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmpA917%2Etmp_tcm131-723229.jpg

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    Flor. Fez carpet tiles are made with 80% post-consumer recycled-content PET face fibers and come in seven colors. The companys scalable system of modular squares allows specifiers to create custom designs and shapes, while helping them order only as much as needed to fill the space, reducing waste. The company offers a Return & Recycle carpet takeback program. 866.281.3567. www.flor.com.

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    Flor.
    Fez carpet tiles are made with 80% post-consumer recycled-content PET face fibers and come in seven colors. The companys scalable system of modular squares allows specifiers to create custom designs and shapes, while helping them order only as much as needed to fill the space, reducing waste. The company offers a Return & Recycle carpet takeback program. 866.281.3567. www.flor.com.

  • Natures Carpet. Part of the Dark Green line, Everest carpeting is made with wool and features no dyes or added chemicals, including insect resistance. The carpet has jute primary and secondary backings and uses a natural rubber latex adhesive. It is Green Label Plus approved. 800.667.5001. www.naturescarpet.com.

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    Natures Carpet. Part of the Dark Green line, Everest carpeting is made with wool and features no dyes or added chemicals, including insect resistance. The carpet has jute primary and secondary backings and uses a natural rubber latex adhesive. It is Green Label Plus approved. 800.667.5001. www.naturescarpet.com.

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    Natures Carpet.
    Part of the Dark Green line, Everest carpeting is made with wool and features no dyes or added chemicals, including insect resistance. The carpet has jute primary and secondary backings and uses a natural rubber latex adhesive. It is Green Label Plus approved. 800.667.5001. www.naturescarpet.com.

  • Design Materials. The companys seagrass carpet, shown here in the Tropics style, is made from the rapidly renewable sedge family of plants from low-lying areas of the Asia-Pacific region. The inherently stain-resistant yarn is durable and non-porous, the company says, and has a smooth texture, a subtle sheen, and a warm hue; it is not dyed. It has a latex backing. The manufacturer also offers carpeting made from wool, mountain grass, and coconut fibers. 913.342.9796. www.dmifloors.com.

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    Design Materials. The companys seagrass carpet, shown here in the Tropics style, is made from the rapidly renewable sedge family of plants from low-lying areas of the Asia-Pacific region. The inherently stain-resistant yarn is durable and non-porous, the company says, and has a smooth texture, a subtle sheen, and a warm hue; it is not dyed. It has a latex backing. The manufacturer also offers carpeting made from wool, mountain grass, and coconut fibers. 913.342.9796. www.dmifloors.com.

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    Design Materials.
    The companys seagrass carpet, shown here in the Tropics style, is made from the rapidly renewable sedge family of plants from low-lying areas of the Asia-Pacific region. The inherently stain-resistant yarn is durable and non-porous, the company says, and has a smooth texture, a subtle sheen, and a warm hue; it is not dyed. It has a latex backing. The manufacturer also offers carpeting made from wool, mountain grass, and coconut fibers. 913.342.9796. www.dmifloors.com.

  • Earth Weave Carpet Mills. Every element of the companys carpet is manufactured with natural materials: The fiber is made with British wool, the primary backing is hemp and cotton and is secured to the fibers with adhesive from the rubber tree, and the secondary backing features jute. Also available is Enertia padding, also made with wool. Shown here is Rainier, a random tip shear that combines cut and uncut loops for a more elegant appearance. Granite, snowfield (shown), tussock, and Ursus colors are available. 706.278.8200. www.earthweave.com.

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    Earth Weave Carpet Mills. Every element of the companys carpet is manufactured with natural materials: The fiber is made with British wool, the primary backing is hemp and cotton and is secured to the fibers with adhesive from the rubber tree, and the secondary backing features jute. Also available is Enertia padding, also made with wool. Shown here is Rainier, a random tip shear that combines cut and uncut loops for a more elegant appearance. Granite, snowfield (shown), tussock, and Ursus colors are available. 706.278.8200. www.earthweave.com.

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    Earth Weave Carpet Mills.
    Every element of the companys carpet is manufactured with natural materials: The fiber is made with British wool, the primary backing is hemp and cotton and is secured to the fibers with adhesive from the rubber tree, and the secondary backing features jute. Also available is Enertia padding, also made with wool. Shown here is Rainier, a random tip shear that combines cut and uncut loops for a more elegant appearance. Granite, snowfield (shown), tussock, and Ursus colors are available. 706.278.8200. www.earthweave.com.

  • Shaw. Cradle-to-Cradlecertified Anso nylon carpeting is made with SCS-certified 25% recycled content in the form of post-consumer carpet. It features R2X stain resistance treatment and has a polypropylene backing. The carpet is Green Label Plus certified. It comes in a range of collections for commercial, heavy traffic, and residential use. 800.441.7429. www.shawfloors.com.

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    Shaw. Cradle-to-Cradlecertified Anso nylon carpeting is made with SCS-certified 25% recycled content in the form of post-consumer carpet. It features R2X stain resistance treatment and has a polypropylene backing. The carpet is Green Label Plus certified. It comes in a range of collections for commercial, heavy traffic, and residential use. 800.441.7429. www.shawfloors.com.

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    Shaw.
    Cradle-to-Cradlecertified Anso nylon carpeting is made with SCS-certified 25% recycled content in the form of post-consumer carpet. It features R2X stain resistance treatment and has a polypropylene backing. The carpet is Green Label Plus certified. It comes in a range of collections for commercial, heavy traffic, and residential use. 800.441.7429. www.shawfloors.com.

  • Healthier Choice. The companys carpet padding is the only cushion to carry Greenguard certification, the firm says, and is made with 55% renewable bio-based materials from non-food sources. It features MoistureBloc breathable moisture barrier to prevent spills from penetrating the cushion and Ultra-Fresh antimicrobial treatment. Five thicknesses are available. 800.872.8426. www.healthierchoice.com.

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    Healthier Choice. The companys carpet padding is the only cushion to carry Greenguard certification, the firm says, and is made with 55% renewable bio-based materials from non-food sources. It features MoistureBloc breathable moisture barrier to prevent spills from penetrating the cushion and Ultra-Fresh antimicrobial treatment. Five thicknesses are available. 800.872.8426. www.healthierchoice.com.

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    Healthier Choice.
    The companys carpet padding is the only cushion to carry Greenguard certification, the firm says, and is made with 55% renewable bio-based materials from non-food sources. It features MoistureBloc breathable moisture barrier to prevent spills from penetrating the cushion and Ultra-Fresh antimicrobial treatment. Five thicknesses are available. 800. 872.8426. www.healthierchoice.com.

  • Mohawk. The company now offers its SmartStrand carpet with Sorona renewably sourced polymer; made with 37% renewable material in the form of corn sugar, production of the material requires 30% less energy and emits 63% less greenhouse gas, the company says. The Triexta fibers are engineered with permanent, built-in stain protection and clean up with just water and steam. The carpet is Green Label Plus certified. 800.266.4295. www.mohawkflooring.com.

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    Mohawk. The company now offers its SmartStrand carpet with Sorona renewably sourced polymer; made with 37% renewable material in the form of corn sugar, production of the material requires 30% less energy and emits 63% less greenhouse gas, the company says. The Triexta fibers are engineered with permanent, built-in stain protection and clean up with just water and steam. The carpet is Green Label Plus certified. 800.266.4295. www.mohawkflooring.com.

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    Mohawk.
    The company now offers its SmartStrand carpet with Sorona renewably sourced polymer; made with 37% renewable material in the form of corn sugar, production of the material requires 30% less energy and emits 63% less greenhouse gas, the company says. The Triexta fibers are engineered with permanent, built-in stain protection and clean up with just water and steam. The carpet is Green Label Plus certified. 800.266.4295. www.mohawkflooring.com.

  • Invista. Stainmaster UltraLife nylon 6,6 carpet is SCS certified as an Environmentally Preferable Product. The carpet features built-in stain-blocking technology as well as LotusFX Fiber Shield, a lotus leafinspired technology that makes it difficult for soil to stick. The companys EcoSoft cushion is made with recycled nylon 6,6 carpet. 800.438.7668. www.stainmaster.com.

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    Invista. Stainmaster UltraLife nylon 6,6 carpet is SCS certified as an Environmentally Preferable Product. The carpet features built-in stain-blocking technology as well as LotusFX Fiber Shield, a lotus leafinspired technology that makes it difficult for soil to stick. The companys EcoSoft cushion is made with recycled nylon 6,6 carpet. 800.438.7668. www.stainmaster.com.

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    Photographer: Guy Welch

    Invista.
    Stainmaster UltraLife nylon 6,6 carpet is SCS certified as an Environmentally Preferable Product. The carpet features built-in stain-blocking technology as well as LotusFX Fiber Shield, a lotus leafinspired technology that makes it difficult for soil to stick. The companys EcoSoft cushion is made with recycled nylon 6,6 carpet. 800.438.7668. www.stainmaster.com.

  • Beaulieu. Green Label Pluscertified Bliss Magic Fresh carpet is made with Stainmaster Luxerell BCF nylon and offers a rich, wool-like appearance and softness, the company says. It includes Xtralife and LotusFX stain and soil resistance technologies and Magic Fresh odor-reducing treatment. The frieze 46-ounce carpet comes in 30 colors. 800.227.7211. www.blissflooring.com.

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    Beaulieu. Green Label Pluscertified Bliss Magic Fresh carpet is made with Stainmaster Luxerell BCF nylon and offers a rich, wool-like appearance and softness, the company says. It includes Xtralife and LotusFX stain and soil resistance technologies and Magic Fresh odor-reducing treatment. The frieze 46-ounce carpet comes in 30 colors. 800.227.7211. www.blissflooring.com.

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    Beaulieu.
    Green Label Pluscertified Bliss Magic Fresh carpet is made with Stainmaster Luxerell BCF nylon and offers a rich, wool-like appearance and softness, the company says. It includes Xtralife and LotusFX stain and soil resistance technologies and Magic Fresh odor-reducing treatment. The frieze 46-ounce carpet comes in 30 colors. 800.227.7211. www.blissflooring.com.

The Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) offers the Green Label Plus (GLP) certification program, which verifies testing of carpets that emit low levels of 76 different compounds. The entire product is tested, so it includes treatments, adhesives, and backings. Carpets rated by Green Label Plus exceed the requirements of California schools, CRI says, and are approved for use in the American Lung Association’s Healthy Homes program.

Some air quality experts remain cautious. Tom Lent of the Healthy Building Network (HBN) worries that GLP doesn’t test for all hazardous substances, such as heavy metals that may be present in some recycled-content backings, and expresses concerns about some chemicals present in backings made with SB latex, polyvinyl butyral, and polyurethane. CRI refutes these concerns, stating that Green Label Plus–certified carpets undergo the testing processes required by California 01350, the most rigorous standard for indoor air quality testing in the country. What’s more, the presence of the chemicals in question is de minimis, says CRI’s sustainability and IAQ program manager Jeff Carrier, noting that any trace amounts are encapsulated.

Natural backings—including rubber and hemp—are available on some non-synthetic brands; however, be sure to ask about both the primary and the secondary backings. A natural rubber adhesive is an alternative option to chemical-based resins.

HBN also raises concerns about topical stain treatments because of their reliance on perfluorocarbons. If treatments must be used, Lent advises to look for those made with C-6 compounds versus C-8 compounds, which are listed as a chemical of concern by the EPA. All U.S. manufacturers have already made this switch.

Prior to installation, air out carpet outdoors or in a controlled environment; ventilate the house during installation and for 48 to 72 hours afterward.

End of Life

The carpet industry’s other chief challenge has been waste. “We absolutely cannot continue to send 3.5 billion pounds of [embedded] oil to the landfill every year,” says CRI president Werner Braun. “We have a vision that that’s going to stop.”

The industry is making a concerted effort to increase reuse, including through the creation of the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), an industry-government partnership that facilitates initiatives to divert carpet from landfills. CARE reports that 246 million pounds of carpet were recycled in 2009; 1.6 billion pounds have been recycled since CARE’s founding in 2002.

One obstacle has been collection. CARE members reported a 5.3% diversion rate and 4.2% recycling rate in 2009. But that number is expected to keep climbing as reclamation centers pop up across the country. Check with your retailer or installer for locations or visit www.carpetrecovery.org.

The other difficulty lies in closing the carpet-to-carpet loop, in part because there just aren’t many outlets yet, CARE reports. But that’s also changing. For example, Shaw’s Evergreen facility in Augusta, Ga., reprocesses old carpet (from any brand) collected at a growing number of reclamation centers, into new nylon 6 fibers for remanufacture. Bentley Prince Street is starting to incorporate post-consumer carpet as well.