We all deserve better. Our families. Our communities. And yes, of course our earth. We believe the time has come for good design that delivers healthier, more comfortable solutions – for people and our planet. This simple idea is the foundation of our commitment to environmental responsibility, and it’s the essence of our new earth-friendly upholstery initiative, ecollection. Every element of the new ecollection designs (from the frames to the fabrics to the paper the catalog is printed on) reflects our long-standing belief that doing something better for the earth is ultimately doing something better for our friends, neighbors and children.
What does it mean by buying green?
One of the ways we can lower our carbon footprint, thereby reducing the potentially negative impact we have on the environment, is to think more carefully about what we buy and to be more intentional about how we use what we own. The exciting part is that there are ways we can make significant, positive choices for the environment within our daily life. One way is by “buying green.” Buying green means looking for and purchasing items and services with an eye to how those purchases impact the environment. One of the common reasons people give for not buying green is that it costs more money. While it can be true that some goods and services sold by companies that are committed to environmental principles can be more expensive, as global climate change becomes a more public issue, more companies are creating and selling “green” products and services thereby lowering their cost.
Green manufacturing is much more than producing products that are recyclable. Many of the brands that Bridgman’s sell are produced by manufacturers who are environmentally responsible. Not only do they produce merchandise from recycled and organic components, but they practice sound environmental policies and procedures. Most of the wood furniture manufacturers that we carry, have switched to water-born finishes. Thus, making the air we breathe cleaner. Many of our sources have zero waste. Some use their waste for fuel to power their facilities or sell it to other producers of recyclable products. Several of our top brands belong to the Sustainable Furnishings Council, utilizing products that are derived from sustainable practices, and the ecological, economic, and social importance of healthy forest ecosystems.
Going Green – Carpets, Rugs & Wood Flooring
Today’s manufacturers of synthetic carpeting, made from fibers such as nylon, polyester and polypropylene have made huge advances in their environmental practices. Entire factories have been built and designed to take advantage of eco-friendly manufacturing practices. Although recycled yarn and other fibers make up the bulk of the “green” story in the carpet industry, many other factors contribute as well.
Until two years ago, only face yarn was re-used. Now, the entire carpet, including the backing, is broken down and re-engineered into new components that make up all layers of the carpeting. There are carpet recycling centers around the country that return used carpeting to the manufacturer. It is then cleaned and processed.
Even carpet padding now has a green tint. More than 70% of all carpet padding is made of recycled content.
Wool carpet manufacturers have been telling a green story for over a century. Most of the wool used in the carpet industry comes from sheep that are raised in a clean, high-altitude climate such as New Zealand. In this environment the sheep can be sheared 3 times a year, year after year.
Many wool carpets and rugs are woven using sustainable cotton yarn as the backing that holds the rug together. Most carpets and rugs using wool and cotton yarn, and sometimes even silk, are completely natural products made from highly sustainable sources.
Wood and engineered wood flooring manufacturers in this country have been making eco-friendly products for decades. Their association does as much to protect its resources as it does to promote its members. Sustainable forests, controlled growth habits and waste-to-fuel conversion are just a few of their conscientious practices. We are fortunate living here in the northeast, as many wood flooring manufacturers are close by which reduces the overall cost to the consumer.
Being Green At Bridgman’s
Not only does Bridgman’s try to buy environmentally friendly products, for your home and ours, from environmentally responsible sources, but we try to practice what we preach. We are one of the largest recyclers of cardboard and clean paper products in the Upper Connecticut River Valley. Bridgman’s recycles good clean used furnishing by donating them to local service organizations. We maintain our vehicles and mechanical equipment to keep them in top condition so that we use less fuel and emit fewer pollutants to our environment. We have switched virtually all of our incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. While the cost to purchase these bulbs is significantly greater, the cost of operation and the overall cost is significantly less. The electricity usage has been cut dramatically, helping to reduce our environmental footprint and save money. While the upfront cost of being green is often higher, the long term, overall, and environmental cost is less.