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Going green is the current trend in business and home décor. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and touting their green materials and renewable resources. It is not only a trend, but something all people and businesses need to strongly consider as we continue to debate global warming and the destruction of Earth’s wildlife and forests. As the population continues to reach record numbers with each passing day, we cannot continue to live our lives without thinking of the impact we are having on the plant today and for future generations. At AmCork, we take "going green" very seriously and have embraced a material that defines the term.

Deforestation is a real problem right now that affects more than just the number of trees on the plant. It also wipes out local ecosystems, decimates economies, and wreaks havoc on the air quality of the affected region. It’s one of the reasons we love cork so very much! The cork oak, quercus suber, is never felled in the harvesting. What does that mean you may ask? It means that they are not cut down when the cork is harvested. They continue to produce cork and support a lively ecosystem as well as the livelihood of many Portuguese families. Cork oaks typically live 150-250 years before they are finally retired. The outer bark is harvested every 9-12 years. This is the portion of the tree that is used in our manufacturing process. AmCork works closely with our distributors to ensure that the cork oak is protected and harvested properly to safeguard future collection. And as such, the diverse ecosystem supported by the cork oak forests should never be completely eliminated.

Turn on the news any given day and you will see the headlines of companies “going green” and searching for more renewable resources to help them stay competitive in this organic, politically correct craze that has businesses clamoring to show how they are moving forward on a netter path of enlightenment. Sometime I wonder if it’s all a dog and pony show just to get more customers in the doors. Do these companies really care about our environment or are consumers becoming savvier and therefore the businesses have to care in order to keep revenues up and to maintain their pertinent statuses? Many companies are also seeking kickbacks from governments and environmental groups be it in the form of tax credits, revenue enhancement, or branding, because of their newly found environmental worth.

When it comes to the cork industry, environmental passion is nothing new. Cork bark is typically gathered by hand to ensure to that the quality of the product is not affected by the mechanization of the harvesting process. This sustainable material is then gathered and walked out on foot to the roadside throughout a portion of the forest. This directly impacts the carbon footprint of the industry, which compared to many global industries, is very low. The product itself is 100% recyclable and can be used in many ways. Additionally, there is no waste in the cork industry; even the cork dust particles from cutting and trimming the cork tree bark are collected and pressed into cork board or other materials.

Once installed in your home or place of business, the benefits continue. Cork is naturally hypo-allergenic and mold resistant. The air quality is often improved as well as the acoustical and temperate natures of the environment in which it is installed. As a bonus, cork is beautiful. It is soft on your feet and cushions your footsteps when installed as a flooring option. Preserving cork is also a breeze – just a damp mop or rag is all you need for day to day maintenance. It has been a medium of contemporary design for many years and has even been showcased by legendary architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. AmCork offers a full selection of cork flooring and cork wall coverings. Our diverse inventory spans the design spectrum. Installation is also relatively simple, but if you want to leave that to the professionals, we completely understand. Stop by and shop our collection and begin supporting an industry that has always been green and will continue to be on Team Earth.

June 30, 2015

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