Believe it or not, a carpet is a remarkably sustainable choice. The carpet industry is notorious for relying heavily on recycling and reusing. Often, when a carpet reaches the end of its lift, it is reused to create a new carpet. An old carpet may also be recycled into a variety of products, including roofing shingles, railroad ties, and automotive parts.
The Sustainability Assessment for Carpet is the industry-leading standard for sustainability evaluation of carpet products throughout their life cycle. This standard provides guidelines for more sustainable carpet performance and production. As part of the SAC, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) requires all broadloom and carpet tile purchased by the United States government to be designated at the gold certification level. Certification levels are based on:
- Energy and energy efficiency
- Public health and environment
- Recycled content materials
- Reclamation and end-of-life management
Certification is award in silver, gold, and platinum levels. Though this standard is primarily intended for commercial, hospitality, and similar carpet consumers, it can apply to any rug or carpet manufacturer in the United States. If you are thinking about purchasing carpet tile or an area rug, check for the appropriate certification. You may be surprised to see that even the rug you bought from a Craigslist advertisement is certified.
Additionally, carpet enthusiasts love environmental stewardship. Work, such as that done by the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), diverts billions of pounds of carpets from landfills, putting material back into circulation and giving rugs a new life.