In today’s climate, everyone does what they can to help the environment. U.S. environmental regulations are put in place to help safeguard our natural resources, and consumers expect the businesses they buy from to be compliant with these laws and hold the same beliefs as they do. But what happens when you find out not only is a company you’ve bought from accused of breaking environmental laws, but your beloved hardwood floor may be an illegal product- harvested from protected forests?
For Lumber Liquidator customers, this nightmare is a reality.
Hardwood Floors and the Environment
The large chain, Lumber Liquidators floor supplier is accused of breaking the Lacey Act, a federal regulation that prohibits importing lumber that was illegally harvested. According to a Wall Street Journal report, a federal investigation initiated by an environmental group was prompted after suspicion was raised regarding the harvest of trees for hardwood flooring from protected Russian forests through a Chinese supplier of hardwoods. The report claims that Lumber Liquidators was aware of the source of the lumber from their Chinese suppliers, but continued to buy from them despite the illegal means of obtaining the wood. The Russian forests harvested by the Chinese supplier are protected habitat areas for the endangered Siberian Tiger. Currently, there are only approximately 450 feet of natural habitat left for Siberian Tigers in far east Russia.
How to Buy Environmentally Friendly Hardwood Floors
Lumber Liquidator customers who purchased oak or birch flooring may be walking on endangered habitat woods- a nightmare for the environmentally conscious. As a consumer, you can take steps to ensure you don’t inadvertently contribute to the downfall of endangered forest and animals through deforestation of protected habitats.
Environmentally conscious flooring begins with selecting a reputable company and doing research into how and where the company obtains its lumber. You can also check to see if any charges have been filed for EPA violations that could potentially harm your local environment as well. Choosing a company that encourages green practices in the workplace is a bonus, as is finding a company that gives back to the environment whenever possible. Green energy sources, energy conservation, recycling, and participating in local and global environmental events are all desirable actions as well.
Another easy way to help protect our environment is to purchase engineered wood flooring, which uses less hardwood materials than traditional solid wood floors. You still get the same great look and quality as solid hardwood flooring, but with a more environmentally conscious product that costs less than solid wood flooring. The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle slogan is always a good practice to keep in mind when shopping for flooring options.
Urban Floor is an environmentally conscious company providing premium engineered hardwood flooring for consumers who care about the environment. Contact us today for more information about environmentally friendly engineered floors for your home or business.