Cork is sustainable,eco-friendly,contains recycled content,is recyclable,leaves a small carbon footprint or has low VOC’s(Volatile Organic Compound).
- Better than a renewable resource because it is a harvested resource(only the bark is harvested from the tree)
- A recycled product because cork floors are made from the waste cork that makes wine stoppers.
- A law in the 1930’s called “The 9 Year Law”was passed to keep cork from being harvested any sooner than every 9 years. The tree has to reach 60 cm in circumference before it can be harvested. The first harvest from a cork tree can only occur at age 25.
- The tree is not destroyed or damaged when harvesting cork.
- To complete the environmentally sound process,water based finishes and adhesives should be used.
- Use adhesives with low VOC’s
- Choose water based finishes over solvent based
- Acceptable adhesives are listed here://www.greenhomeguide.com
Adhesives are just as important to consider when purchasing flooring as the flooring itself. Adhesives with harmful toxins can damage indoor air quality by giving off harmful gasses.
Tips for Adhesives:
- Choose low VOC’s(Volatile Organic Compounds)
- Do not contain formaldehyde
- Qualify for the Carpet and Rug Institutes Indoor Air Quality green label
- Once installed,floors still give off gas compounds
- Less durable floors have to be replaced more often
- High maintenance floors use more harsh chemicals
- Consider floors that don’t have to be refinished