Posts Tagged ‘wool carpets’

EcoInhabit — Earth Inspired Living in Meaford, Ontario

April 6th, 2010

During March Break our family was skiing in Collingwood, ON in the most spectacular weather I’ve ever skied in in my life, even if it was a bit weird and scary being in Collingwood in March in almost 20 degree weather — the same as it was in Florida, according to the weather map.

Ecoinhabit

In any event, one day instead of skiing I decided to visit Ecoinhabit, a green products supplier, which lies just off Highway 26 between Meaford and Thornbury — a fun field trip for me, apparently an excruciatingly boring one for my 14 year old son — go figure.

Showroom

Ecoinhabit is occupied in an old barn with exposed rafters as well as the metal roof peeking through the wood. It’s a beautiful environment and the store itself is worth a visit. EcoInhabit can help you with many of your green building and lifestyle needs. In addition to building materials, it also carries organic sheets, towels, mattresses, futons, etc. If you’re in the Georgian Triangle area, drop in to take a look. Kara, the store manager, is very knowledgeable and passionate about the products the carry, and like me, cares about whether or not a product is really as green as the manufacturer wants you to believe it is.

Ecoinhabit Store Entrance

Below is a list of some of the products Ecoinhabit carries.

Sealants, Adhesives, and Caulking.

AFM Safecoat products. This is a California-based company that specializes producing low and zero-VOC paints, sealants and adhesives that are considered the safest and least toxic on the market today. Many of its products have received the Scientific Certification Systems’ Indoor Advantage Gold Certification, meaning that they are excellent for indoor air quality.

Ecoinhabit carries the following products:

  • Transitional Primer, $54.99 per gallon,
  • Zero VOC wallpaint. Available in flat (no sheen, $57.99/gallon), eggshell (low-gloss, easy to clean, $59.99/gallon), semi-gloss ($59.99/gallon) and exterior ($59.99/gallon).
  • Carpet Cleaners and Sealers: SafeChoice Shampoo ($30.99/gallon, $11.99/quart), SafeChoice Carpet Seal ($39.99/gallon, $14.99/quart), SafeChoice Lock Out ($32.99/gallon, $13.99/quart).
  • Caulking: $14.50/ten ounce tube.
  • SafeCoat Almighty Adhesive $14.50/10 ounce tube.
  • Safe Seal, $61.99/gallon, $19.99/quart
  • Hard Seal,$57.99/gallon.
  • MexeSeal,$62.99/gallon.
  • Grout Sealer, $23.99/quart. Coverage: 100 linear feet.

For a more detailed description of the benefits of these products, read the post on AFM Safecoat products.

Flooring:

Interface Flooring’s Flor carpet tiles: The residential line of Interface’s carpet selection is called Flor. It offers the ability to mix and match carpet tiles to create unique and interesting patterns similar to linoleum tiles, only with carpet. Carpet tiles made from recycled carpet: $8.99/19″x19″ tile. 100% wool carpet tile: $19.99/19″x19″ tile. Note: prices are approximate only. Please call Ecoinhabit for up-to-date pricing.

Eco-Timber: Engineered and reclaimed hardwood flooring products manufactured by Eco-Timber are made exclusively from Forest Stewardship Council Certified US managed forests. Milling and processing is done in Denver, CO. $10.25/ft sq. Bamboo flooring comes from FSC-certified forests in Asia. $5/ft. sq.

Ontario Reclaimed Flooring: Local reclaimed flooring made out of barnboard from barns that need to come down from around Ontario. $7 – 10/ft sq. Unfinished.

Plaster:

American Clay: An all natural clay product with natural pigments. Applied as plaster, zero VOC, it actually works to purify the air. For more information on American Clay, see my post on its benefits. 50lb bag of: Loma, $80; Meritimo,$120; Porcelina: $145.

Countertop Surfaces:

IceStone: A surface material made of recycled glass and concrete. Available in many different colours and thicknesses. $46-102/ft. sq. For more information on IceStone, see my post on its benefits.

PaperStone: A surface material made of compressed recycled paper and eco-resins. Looks a bit like laminate, the darker ones have a stone-like appearance to them. $42.75-48.50/ft sq. For more information on PaperStone, see my post on its benefits.

Benefits of Wool Carpeting

March 2nd, 2010

A few weeks ago, Prince Charles launched a campaign called The Wool Project to support the British wool industry. Wool, that wonderful, natural fabric, that has so many uses from clothing to carpeting, is facing some severe competition from its artificial counterparts nylon and polyester. His website notes that the price of wool has dropped by almost a third since 1997. So, it’s time to get fashionable again and start paying more attention to that eco-friendly and old-fashioned material: wool.

If we look at the properties of wool itself, wool has a lot of qualities that are considered “green.” Wool is:

  • 100% renewable
  • biodegradable
  • durable (high-quality wool carpets can last 40 years and longer)
  • recyclable
  • an insulator against noise and heat loss
  • an allergen-friendly material
  • mould resistant
  • lower energy intensive production than synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester.

Searching out high-quality wool carpets: Earthweave had already pointed out to me that the “Wools from New Zealand” trademark represented high-quality wool carpets, I have to admit, not knowing a lot about wool, I thought wool was wool was wool.

I happened to mention this quite ignorant statement to James MacLean, who, as it happens, comes from a long line of New Zealand sheep shearers. He looked at me and said, “That’s like saying a car is a car. Would you put a Porsche in the same category as a Toyota Echo?” Fair point. And I should have seen it that way. I mean, how many times have I been to the Royal Winter Fair and seen Holsteins and Jersey cows and knew that different breeds provide different foods? It’s the same with sheep. Some are excellent for meat and others for their wool. But, in addition to that, some breeds, such as the Merino sheep produce excellent wool for apparel, and others, such as the Romney and Corriedale breeds produce excellent wool for carpets and upholstery. And, as it turns out, sheep raised in  New Zealand produce some of the finest wool in the world, and wool is one of the original green materials.

New Zealand is the second largest exporter of wool in the world behind Australia. Most of New Zealand’s wool is used for the interior furnishings market with carpet wool making up over 60% of its use.

Brands using Wools of New Zealand trademark tend to be in the upper scale in terms of pricing. However, when you consider how long a wool carpet will last (40 years or more in light to medium trafficked areas) versus synthetic carpets, wool carpets are an excellent investment.

Note: if you read the fine print of the Wools of New Zealand trademark: a carpet may carry that trademark if 80% or more of the carpet is wool (20% can be other fibres, such as nylon or other wool fibres), and 60% of the wool is from New Zealand. So if you’re looking for 100% wool, make sure you ask for it specifically.

Laneve Brand of New Zealand Wools: Perhaps in reaction to consumer demand for more traceable materials, Wools of New Zealand has a superior designated brand called Laneve. From its website:

Laneve branded carpets and rugs are made from 100 percent wool traceable back to identifiable farmers who meet a comprehensive range of environmental, social responsibility and animal welfare standards.

In addition to traceable wool, in order to use this trademark a farmer must practice traditional, low intensive farming techniques, allowing sheep free range and practice farming methods that protect local land and water.

Laneve is a relatively new line of carpets. For participating mills, click here.

Tip: according to Lily at eFloor, Godfrey Hirst carpets are of excellent quality, use “Wools of New Zealand,” are widely available and reasonably priced. They also use natural jute backings instead of synthetic backings. Godfrey Hirst carpets range in price from $6.50 to $16.50/sq. foot.

Other prominent producers of carpets using the “Wools of New Zealand” Brand are:

Helios Carpet

Radici USA

Natural Carpet Company

Nourison Industries

Couristan

Prestige Mills

Stanton Carpet

Kane Carpet

Silver Creek Carpet

Carpets from these mills usually range in price from $12-19/sq. foot. For more mills, visit the Wools of New Zealand website.

According to the website below is a list of retailers in Toronto:

Bronte Carpet Works 2347 Lakeshore Rd. W., Oakville (905) 825-3670
Conquest Carpets 4965 Steeles Avenue W. North York 416 745-8518
Dominion Rug 3420 Yonge Street Toronto 416 485-9488
Elte Carpets & Home 80 Ronald Avenue Toronto 416 785-4774
FloorWorks 365 Dupont Street Toronto 416 961-6891
Magnum Opus Carpets 20-665 Millway Avenue Concord 905 738-7295
Orlean Carpet 1449 Youville Drive Orleans 613 837-9373
Reliable Carpet & Paint 772 Dundas Street West Toronto 416 603-8952
Tappatec, Inc. 600 Orwell Street, Unit 17 Mississauga 905 279-8882
Trust Flooring Group 4965 Steeles Avenue West North York 416 745-8518
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