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Comparing Eco-Friendly Rugs

written by: Marina Hanes•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 4/28/2009

When you have a family, lessening the amount of toxins they're exposed to is important. Organic rugs can make a great addition to your home, because they are non-toxic and provide color and comfort to any room. So the next time you need a rug consider one made of hemp or bamboo.

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    Eco-friendly Rugs

    When you think of eco-friendly rugs, you might assume that there are few options. However, this is further from the truth. There are a variety of environmentally friendly rugs to choose from. You might even become overwhelmed by all of the fabric options. For example, rugs can be created from bamboo, organic wool, organic cotton, sisal, seagrass, jute and cork. Different fabrics can make certain rooms more functional and interesting.

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    Health Benefits

    Processed rugs contain more chemicals and toxins in comparison to organic rugs. For example, natural rugs are free of dyes and treatments, which can be dangerous to your pets and children. Specifically a chemical called 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PCH) is one that gives off gases, which are unhealthy to inhale. 4-PCH is a byproduct of the latex binder that connects the fibers to the underside of the rug, and it's also considered a volatile organic compound (VOC). If you're expecting a baby, a rug with this chemical is not something you want lurking in the nursery.

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    Room by Room

    Cork floors and rugs are created from the shavings of bark trees (the trees are not cut down), and this type of rug would be adorable in a baby's room. An added plus to cork rugs is that they are soft and rubbery, which is an ideal landing for a baby or toddler. Another option is organic cotton rugs, because you don't have to worry about your child putting the rug in its mouth.

    Organic wool rugs are functional to have near doorways, because they are rough enough to pull the dirt off of your shoes. If you have pets, wool rugs can prevent dirt from scattering when your pet runs into the house. Also, this material can provide a comfortable and warm resting spot.

    Sisal, seagrass and jute are durable fibers when woven into rugs. So if you're known to host parties, these organic area rugs can survive the spills. Another option is hemp rugs, which are comfortable, sustainable and durable.

    When you incorporate sustainable materials in your home, it becomes a cozier and more natural environment, which is safer for your family. Plus, there are so many types of fibers and designs to choose from that going eco-friendly might make your home more stylish too.