Rugs and carpets withstand a lot of wear and tear, especially in high-traffic rooms. Try sustainable flooring in these rooms. It won't harm the earth, and the natural fibers last longer than the synthetic variety.
Shaw carpeting comes in all the colors and patterns you'd expect from a leading flooring company, but they also have an edge up on the environmentally friendly market with their cradle-to-cradle policy: Each of the carpets in their Inspired Spaces collection are manufactured from Nylon 6, which is recycled at their facilities into new carpeting repeatedly, creating a cycle of sustainability.
Get It: Antoinette, $35-40 per square yard, shawfloors.com
Coupled with their cradle-to-cradle carpeting, Shaw introduced Endurance II carpet cushions made from 100 percent recycled content.
Get It: Timeless home, $35-40 per square yard, shawfloors.com
The designers at Shaw worked hard to make sure "green" didn't mean "ugly." They designed an array of gorgeous carpets in fashion-forward colors and patterns so you can feel good about your style and environmental choice.
Get It: Simply the Best, $35-40 per square yard, shawfloors.com
FLOR's Mission Zero program works to eliminate any negative impact the company has on the environment by 2020, all while producing affordable carpet tiles you can mix and match at will or purchase in ready-made combos, like this vibrant area rug.
Get It: Classic Quilt Mango (8 x 10), $339, www.flor.com
With a durable finish that doesn't show dirt and cleans in a snap, it's no wonder the House Pet series is FLOR's number-one seller. And you can be confident about the method of manufacturing -- so far through Mission Zero, FLOR has reduced their manufactured waste sent to landfills by 63 percent and their greenhouse gas emission by 56 percent.
Get It: House Pet, $9.99 per tile ($3.71 per square foot), www.flor.com
FLOR's Fedora line is created from 80 percent post-consumer fibers, has a brushed felt finish, and comes in six ultra-versatile colors -- all for only $6.99 a tile. Three cheers to FLOR for making it easy to go green on a budget.
Get It: Fedora Cayenne and Brick, $6.99 per tile ($2.60 per square foot), www.flor.com
Ready-made color mixes make it easy to coordinate flooring with the rest of your decor. Plus, if you ever want a new color, FLOR's Return-Recycle program arranges for your old FLOR tiles to be picked up and recycled into new carpet tiles.
Get It: Modern Mix Blue, $59.99/four tiles ($5.58 per square foot), www.flor.com
Company C, longtime purveyor of gorgeous rugs with a modern twist, has added some of their most popular rugs to their Natural Grounds line, a collection of rugs made from 100 percent natural wool and natural ground, meaning dramatically less dye is used to make the rug. Sachi rugs come in colors to match virtually any home.
Get It: Sachi Black Bean, $550 (4'6" x 6'6"), www.companyc.com
Company C also joined Rugmark, a nonprofit organization that campaigns against child labor and poor working conditions in rug factories. A percentage of every Rugmark-certified rug sold goes to educating and rehabilitating children in Nepal, Pakistan, and India.
Get It: Wentworth Floral Charcoal, $550 (4'6" x 6'6'), www.companyc.com
Company C's commitment to the environment goes beyond just the way they manufacture their rugs -- this year they printed their catalog on 50-percent recycled, 25-percent post-consumer waste paper using vegetable-based inks.
Get It: Marisol Sand, $550 (4'6" x 6'6"), www.companyc.com
For a truly natural, sustainable rug, look no further than Earth Weave's Bio-Floor collection. Their carpet is completely biodegradable, from the 100 percent natural wool used for the face fiber to the 100 percent natural rubber adhesive used to hold the jute rug backing in place.
Get It: McKinley Snowfield, $35-45 per square yard, www.earthweave.com