Merida

Posts Tagged: eco friendly


2
Nov 09

Recycling carpets and area rugs

Ever wonder what to do with your old carpet? Before you throw it away, think about the many ways to reuse or recycle it for alternative uses.  According to the Environmental Recovery & Consolidation Service, carpet is responsible for about 5 billion pounds of waste in U.S. landfills each year. Companies like Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) have successfully diverted waste from landfills with recycling programs that create value for the post-consumer carpet recycling industry. If you own a natural fiber rug, there are many options for recycling and reusing your sustainable floor coverings.

A carpet recycling program based in San Francisco strives to make the carpet business much more sustainable.

A carpet recycling program in San Francisco strives to make the carpet business more sustainable.

Some natural fiber rugs (especially the undyed, unbacked kind like Merida’s Abaca rugs) are completely biodegradable; at the end of their life as a rug, they can be chopped up and used as mulch or compost in your yard. For rugs that are not 100% biodegradable, there are some alternate uses to consider trying. Old rugs can be:

  • Cut into small pieces and used as pads under heavy furniture
  • Used as doormats to catch mud and water from outside
  • Used as floor mats in a car
  • Cut into strips wide enough to fit between the rows in your garden to prevent weeds from growing

If none of these options work for your rug, there are still other ways to recycle. CARE is a partnership between members of the carpet industry and government agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, that is aiming to divert 40 percent of carpet from landfills by 2012. CARE provides a list of reclamation partners across the United States on its Web site that will recycle carpet for you. They usually charge between 5 and 25 cents per pound, because the process of separating the fibers and backing materials in carpets makes the recycling process a bit complicated.

Once reclaimed, carpets will go on to either be:

  • Given to charity
  • Turned into new carpet
  • Separated into parts and made into different items

Some items that can be made from recycled carpet are auto parts, plastic lumber, sound barriers, landscape timbers, nylon pallets, and parking stops.

If you are more on the creative side, you can repurpose carpet into functional works of art. Ample Sample is a contest that challenges designers to “Rethink, Reuse, and Upcycle” carpet samples that would otherwise end up in landfills. There are some really interesting designs from the past couple of years of submissions, everything from a shoe holder (below ) to furniture, bags, and even a hammock!

The Shoe-Kepper was the 2009 winner for Ample Sample.

The Shoe-Kepper was the 2009 Ample Sample winner.

Next time you plan on throwing out your carpet, think about some of these fun and sustainable ideas to prevent your carpet from ending up in a landfill.


2
Oct 09

Students to design eco-friendly rugs

Yesterday Maegan and I hosted a group of graphic design students from my favorite local nonprofit, Artists For Humanity. The group came to the Boston office to learn about a really exciting opportunity for them to explore the meaning of sustainability and push the limits of creativity.

The Tufted Rug Design Contest (if you have a better idea for the name, let me know…) challenges the seven high school students in the graphic design department at AFH to think about what sustainability means to them as young artists. They will transform their ideas and inspirations into graphic designs that could be made into a tufted rug made from 100% New Zealand Wool. In November, three winners will be chosen by a panel of judges made up of interior designers from our Boston network, and each winner will receive a rug tufted from their own design. Events are planned in December and January to promote the contest, and we may even decide to produce the rugs as a new tufted collection in 20210. Stay tuned!

We created this contest with the staff and mentors at AFH for a number of reasons. First, we think there is amazing synergy between our two organizations: our shared love of design, our interest in maintaining a vibrant local community, and our dedication to sustainability. We also wanted the opportunity to work with the students in a way that would bring their incredible creativity to our design process, and teach them about sustainability at the same time.

Another important purpose of the contest is to give the students the chance to participate in a real-world product development process where technical specifications and market trends can often guide the process.  Throughout the contest, the students will have multiple opportunities to receive feedback from Maegan, who will work to educate them on basic principles of textile design, the technical capabilities of our tufting equipment, and trends in the fashion and home furnishings markets that may influence their decisions.

Next week Maegan and I will meet with the students to go over their first-round sketches and inspiration. We will conduct a second critique two weeks later, and the students will submit their final designs the first week of November. We’re so excited to see what the students will come up with and are looking forward to sharing it all as we go!

The photos below are from the workroom tour and presentation yesterday. Maegan and I tag-teamed to present background information on Merida, our design process, how Maegan approaches design, and the meaning of sustainability. Enjoy!

Maegan gave the AFH students a tour of our custom workroom in Boston.

Maegan gave the AFH students a tour of our custom workroom in Boston.

We explained how the air tables work and the excellent craftsmanship that goes into a Merida rug.

We explained how the air tables work and the excellent craftsmanship that goes into a Merida rug.

The students loved the soft texture of this Bora Bora Volcano rug, made of undyed eco-friendly jute.

The students loved the soft texture of this Bora Bora Volcano rug, made of undyed eco-friendly jute.

Maegan showed the students her 2010 color inspiration boards as she described the process she goes through to design a product.

Maegan showed the students her 2010 color inspiration boards as she described the process she goes through to design a product.

We showed the students samples of hand-woven prototypes and discussed how the same design can change when woven on a mechanical dobby loom.

We showed the students samples of hand-woven prototypes and discussed how the same design can change when woven on a mechanical dobby loom.

Click the links below to check out previous posts on our ongoing partnership with AFH.

Student artists visit Merida

Fun Viewpoint Coasters for AFH event!

AFH’s Greatest Party on Earth


25
Sep 09

Eco-friendly interiors in “Modern By Design”

Over the past few weeks I’ve been receiving lots of beautiful photos from many showhouses we participated in this summer and I’m so excited to share them all with you! For today I’ve selected a few images from the Metropolitan Home “Modern By Design” showcase that was held in San Francisco’s beautiful Pacific Heights neighborhood. San Francisco-based design firm Dowling Kimm Studios selected one of our new sisal and wool designs, Cortina, for their eco-friendly bedroom and bathrooom space. The chunky, lustrous yarns in this area rug add a beautiful texture to the space and provide a nice contrast to the dark wood floors and chocolate brown accents.

Cortina in Powder in Metropolitan Home Showcase House room designed by Dowling Kimm Studios.

Cortina in Powder, as seen in the Metropolitan Home "Modern By Design" showcase house. Room design by Dowling Kimm Studios.

Cortina in Powder

Cortina in Powder, as seen in the Metropolitan Home "Modern By Design" showcase house. Room design by Dowling Kimm Studios.

Cortina in Powder, as seen in the Metropolitan Home "Modern By Design" showcase house. Room design by Dowling Kimm Studios.

Cortina in Powder, as seen in the Metropolitan Home "Modern By Design" showcase house. Room design by Dowling Kimm Studios.

To view more colors of Cortina, click here. To order samples or request a quote, visit our online customer center.

You can also see lots more photos from the showcase house on CasaSugar.

Do you have a photo of a design project featuring a Merida rug? Submit it to marketing@meridameridian.com! If we select your photo, your name and web site will be promoted on our blog, Twitter, and Facebook pages!


21
Sep 09

Rug remedies for allergies

If your allergies or asthma cause you to think twice about things you bring into your home, reevaluating your flooring options could be beneficial to your health. Many people with allergies are told to remove carpets in the home, but some studies have shown that this may not be the best idea. The Carpet and Rug Institute has found that carpets may be beneficial because they trap allergens until they can be vacuumed up. Carpets and rugs prevent dust and dirt particles from circulating through the air as they do with hard flooring surfaces. Therefore, carpeting can result in fewer allergens in the air above carpeted floors.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) says that while carpets do trap particles, much of those can easily be stirred and released back into the air. The AAFA also notes that dust mites can live in carpets, releasing waste materials that can trigger allergy symptoms. For this reason, they recommend bare floors or low-pile or washable rugs for people with allergies.

These conflicting recommendations can make it difficult to make a strong statement in favor of carpet or bare floors. The best advice, if you are prone to allergies but like owning a rug or carpet, is to be sure to vacuum regularly and have your carpet or rug cleaned professionally every 12 to 18 months. Regular cleaning will remove the majority of allergens that remain trapped in the carpet even after vacuuming. Low-pile rugs such as Merida’s textured and flat-weave sisals and flat-woven wools, are preferable for people with allergies because they do not hold as many dust and dirt particles as deep-pile rugs.

Merida’s Parquet textured and flat-weave sisal area rug is preferable for people with allergies.

Our Parquet rug is a flat-woven sisal design that is preferable for people with allergies.

In Merida's Viewpoint Collection is our flat-woven wool, Stephanotis which does not hold as much dirt or dust particles as deep-pile rugs.

Our Viewpoint rugs are flat-woven wool designs that do not hold as many dirt and dust particles as deeper-pile rugs.