Ahhhh, carpet. As much as I love wood floors, I do love the coziness of carpet, especially as we head into the colder months. We have lived in our current home for about 5 1/2 years already...wow how time flies and some carpet areas are not looking so good. We went with the popular frieze in a polyester fiber. We have been so disappointed with how it has held up- but now I know that polyester is NOT good for high traffic areas. That's exactly where our carpet is so matted down. I guess it pays to do your research. Someday in the next couple years I know we are going to have to replace it. I have been wondering what our options are to replace without all the off-gassing? (VOC's have made me literally ill twice recently so I clearly have become extremely sensitive to them) I am so pleased to see that we do have safe choices.
Of course, natural fibers are the ideal choice for no off gassing. Wool carpeting is the Be All, End All of carpeting. That's what was put into homes once upon a time. Then enter the synthetic fibers to mimic wool and be less cost prohibitive. Wool is naturally stain resistant and durable so we would not have to replace it for a long, long, long time (I won't be going for anything trendy, here). The downside is the initial cost although I think it would save money in the long run. I do wonder about it's softness, however. I notice even 5% wool in a sweater, these days.
On the other hand, I am pleased to see that there are finally some green options for synthetic carpets. Many carpet manufacturers are using recycled carpet to make "new" carpeting so this is helping keeping carpet waste out of landfills tremendously. What's recently come to my attention is the Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality symbol that verifies the carpet you are considering is low-VOC and won't emit harmful gases into you home's air.
If you are considering new carpet, you can go to the Carpet & Rug Institute's website to see what brands/styles have this label:
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