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Who knew that once you passed high school chemistry, a robust knowledge of carbon would be vital not only to your future but to the future of our planet? The world measures and quantifies carbon emissions on a global scale, tracking its effects on the planet as a whole. We all remember the rudimentary lesson that human beings breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Our chemistry teacher may have further expounded that plants in our homes improve the quality of our air. Why? Because plants breathe in carbon dioxide, effectively removing it from the atmosphere. And in 2013 approximately 82% of all US greenhouse gas emissions were from human activity (i.e. the burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for energy).

According to the EPA, the most effective way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Motor vehicle standards are revised annually to mandate more fuel-efficient vehicles. Energy Star programs have been developed in the US for more energy efficient appliances. Home and office conservation standards are constantly reviewed and new ways to reduce our personal carbon footprint are issued each year. We may have even become tired of hearing about this problem. But tired or not, the crisis will not go away just because we stick our heads in the ground or play the blame game.

At AmCork, we are constantly touting that cork is an extremely eco-friendly material. But did you know a cork oak that has been harvested will absorb three to five times more carbon than a non-harvested tree? A recent study cited that Portuguese cork forests can absorb 4.8 million tons of carbon per year. Considering that carbon emissions in 2013 measured 9.9 BILLION metric tons, this may not seem significant, but it is! It is a huge offset of what we are producing on an annual basis.

Not a single gram of cork is wasted when harvested. Every last speck is used, even the finely ground pieces. What other resource of Eco-friendly materials can tout that as a claim to fame? And considering that the cork oak is never cut down and can be harvested over and over again through its self-renewing properties,
 I’d say it’s a pretty big deal. Our cork products are made of 100% Portuguese cork. We work tirelessly with our distributors to ensure that the most Eco-friendly harvesting methods are used. We are proud to offer cork products to our clients that we can firmly stand behind as not only beautiful, but beneficial to the planet we all call home. So when you consider flooring and wall covering options, we highly encourage you to consider cork. We promise you will not be disappointed. And Mother Earth will thank you!

October 26, 2015

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