my life is saw dust part 1: research

the first thing that needed immediate attention to make my home inhabitable again (read my bolg post a tail of two kitties) was my floor. k, will, and i made quick work of ripping out the old fake hard wood laminate and saved about four hundred dollars on having  contractors come do it. there is a down side, the contractors would have come and taken the flooring with them. i soon found how hard it was to throw away any kind of construction marital in the city of chicago. i could not simply throw it out in my condo building without facing huge fines nor could i just take it and drop it off legally at a city dump. i also soon found that it cost ridicules amounts of money to have it picked up and disposed of.

luckily i have a wonderful and clever grandfather. he suggested that we cut up all the long planks in smaller pieces and he would drive them over to my parents house in the suburbs where it would be slowly over time thrown away.

we spent three days cutting up all the planks of wood so they were small enough to be carried away. this is where the saw dust started and sweep as i may i could not get it under control.

finding and picking a new floor was quite an extensive process for me. these are things was looking for in a floor:

sustainable material
very low or no toxic chemicals used
fair labor
would not scuff or dent easily
avoid formaldehyde at all cost ( yes most flooring the boards are glues together using glue containing formaldehyde. scary.)

so many products available to us on the U.S market just scare the living daylights out of me. its not only the way that the earth is pillaged of her resources but they way people growing wood and processing it are treated the urkes me. people don’t give much though when purchasing things like wall to wall carpet which trap allergens and dust mites. nor do we think of the coating on flooring gassing of and the toxic glues we are using. we are breathing in fiber glass from the foam in our wall insulation and our flooring underpayment. did you know that most tampons have fiber glass? give this a thought lady’s, once again most tampons have fiber glass in them. we as human beings should not be exposed to such things. that should be a given right. or we should be more educated consumers and understand exactly what is in the products we are buying. companies don’t make it easy however, do they?  

i was extremely disappointed by anything i saw at home depot and other home improvement big box stores. big surprise there. they had one bamboo floor which they called sustainable. just to clarify: sustainable is a very subjective word. yes it is true that bamboo is one of the fastest growing pants and grows at two inches an hour. where as it would take most oak trees something like 120 years to reach maturity and be used as building martial.   

for example when i found bamboo yarn for knitting i was really excited for it was cheap and really soft. i quickly learned that possessing bamboo into yarn is an extremely toxic process and i find it completely unsustainable. same goes sadly for most bamboo bedding and clothing. in fact the wonderful health green goods has this warring on their site:

Linens: Organic cotton sheets, duvet covers, shams & bed skirts plus organic cotton towels.  We don’t carry bamboo because most manufacturers still use a lot of chemicals when processing and dying bamboo (even certified organic bamboo because it is only the plant that is certified organic, not the processing – buyer beware!).

 no one at home depot knew much about this one bamboo flooring, home legend,  they had and all my questions were left unsatisfied. they did not know where and how it was grown and who and grown it. also i was quite easily able dent it with much easy. in addition I found tones of reviews of it online with people saying it damaged very easily.  

in my continued search for flooring i came across a product called marmoleum. i completely feel in love with the concept of it. when i this image of the ingredients of marmoleum on tree hugger  i was sure that this might be the correct flooring for me.

the main ingredient in linseed oil and its and extremely simple and non toxic prosses to make. however when i saw marmoleum in person i could not imagine it being in the bulk of my living space. if i was doing my bathroom or kitchen i would have hands down used it, but not in my main living space. i was very saddened by this decision.

i started looking at cork flooring. some friends had just put sustainable cork in their bed room and it looked stunning and felt great to look walk on. unfortunately i found the cork to soft and it showed marks to easy. i think it’s perfect for a bed room but not in a studio. im constantly moving my bikes in and out and could have seen the floor getting damaged quite easily.  
eventually on suggestions from friends i found my way to the green depot . i know cheesy name but a wonderful store. there i met jenny who was delightful and so helpful in my process for finding my perfect flooring. seriously if you are ever going to do any green building go talk to her.

im going to have to leave it at this for now and talk to you about my perfect flooring and my many adventures at the green depot the next time i blog dear dear reader! 

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