Thursday, June 30, 2011

Carpet a Good Choice for Hospitals Says Werner Braun

Carpet a Good Choice for Hospitals Says Werner Braun

Werner Braun: Carpet a Good Choice for Hospitals ~transfer of bacteria less than with many hard surface materials

In his April 15, 2011 column for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen newspaper, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun  reports on recent research that demonstrates that carpet is a good choice for healthcare facilities. The article is titled Hospitals can benefit from using carpet.

Mr. Braun refers to an article recently published in Commercial Building Products magazine titled, “These Factors Drive School Carpet Success”. The article was written by Keith Gray, director of technical marketing for Carpet and Rug Institute member the Mohawk Group. It gives a comprehensive overview of the benefits carpet offers to schools and describes how “carpet is a better choice for schools than most commonly used flooring materials.” The article mentions the new healthcare research.

“A recent article by Keith Gray of the Mohawk Group stresses the importance of carpet for our children’s health safety, saying that in battling bacteria — in places from schools to hospitals — the health care design industry has performed significant studies, especially since regulations, effective in 2008, now require hospitals to pay the expenses associated with hospital-acquired infections.

Gray points out that one recent study reported that carpet surfaces are no more likely to transmit infections than hard surfaces. In fact, the study suggested that certain hard-surface floors may have higher potential to transmit infections.”

Thank you, Werner.

~Bethany

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Carpet Recycling: 2+ Billion Pound Surge in 2010 Per CARE

Carpet Recycling: 2+ Billion Pound Surge in 2010 Per CARE title=

Carpet Recycling Surged Past 2 Billion Pounds in 2010 – CARE 2010 Report Online

According to the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), 2010 was a very good year for carpet recycling and so far the trend is not slowing in 2011. The information is contained in a presentation from Georgina Sikorski, executive director of the Carpet America Recovery Effort, or CARE, as we call it around here.

Here are the highlights:

• In 2010, CARE members diverted 338 million pounds of carpet from the landfill. Of that amount, 80% of it was recycled back into carpet or other products.

• Since 2002, CARE members have diverted more than 2 billion pounds of carpet. Georgina points out that it took 6 years to divert the first billion pounds, and only 3 years to reach the 2 billion pound milestone. 2011 is showing signs that the next billion may not take that long, she says.

• The rate of recycling has increased 490% since 2002 when CARE started measuring.

• 1129 people are employed in carpet recycling and reclamation in the U.S.

• CARE’s membership has increased by approximately 5x in two years – from 50 in 2009 to 341 in 2011.

You can see the entire presentation here:

I asked Georgina to provide some background into the current state of carpet recycling as well as challenges for the years ahead.

BR: The rate of recycling has increased, and that's good news. What is fueling the higher percentages?

GS: We are seeing a higher demand for post-consumer recycled fiber to be used in the plastics industry. This is being driven by lack of post-industrial recycled material and by increasing consumer demand for recycled-content products. We also continue to see carpet manufacturers increase the percentage of post-consumer recycled carpet content in their new carpet products.

BR: The 5.6% recycle rate is based on projected rates of carpet replacement, and not actual carpet discards. What if CARE compared to actual numbers rather than projections - would the percentages improve?

GS: We estimate that the diversion rate would be about 10% if we were to use actual discards rather than the projections for 2010 that were made back in 2002 when CARE put together its first memorandum of understanding.

BR: Will carpet manufacturers start thinking more about how to make their products easier to recycle?

GS: Carpet manufacturers are working on this challenge, and must balance this with the important requirements for performance, durability, style and value for the final consumer.

BR: What about PET and PTT carpets - anyone coming up with ideas for recycling that fiber? How big of a problem will that pose in years to come?

GS: Carpet manufacturers and other innovators are actively evaluating ways to recycle PET carpets. Today, PET carpets are recycled back into carpet cushion. We fully expect there to be a solution to PET recycling some time in the future. At present, we do not have a comprehensive solution.

Thank you, Georgina.

If you have any questions relating to CARE and carpet recycling, please let us know.

~ Bethany

Friday, June 24, 2011

Carpet Sustainability Facts For Dealers, Consumers

CRI Fact Sheet: Carpet Sustainability Facts For Dealers, Consumers

A Great Investment For The Future

The Facts about Carpet and Sustainability for Dealers and Consumers

This is the 13th in a series of 18 articles designed to share some of the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) best online assets – a collection of downloadable fact sheets.

Developed as easy-to-use, one-page position statements, the CRI Fact Sheets cover four main carpet-related topic areas: Indoor Air Quality, Asthma and Allergy, Cleaning Products, and Environmental Sustainability.

Each of these topics is addressed from the perspective of various market segments: carpet dealers and consumers; architects, designers and builders; school administrators and facility managers, and healthcare administrators and facility managers. There are also separate fact sheets explaining CRI’s Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality and Seal of Approval carpet cleaning standards – 18 fact sheets in all.

The fact sheet on sustainability for carpet dealers and consumers begins:

"The carpet industry is not only designing ways to make carpet last longer, it’s also designing ways to reduce the environmental footprint. Manufacturers are voluntarily addressing this problem by recycling old carpet materials into new carpet production or alternative uses, as well as refurbishing old carpet into new carpet tiles. Because less waste means a better future for us all." It continues:

What You Should Know about carpet sustainability for carpet dealers and consumers:

• Through the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), carpet companies are taking the initiative to work with government entities and product suppliers to develop market-based solutions for the recycling and use of post-consumer carpet. For more information, visit carpetrecovery.org.

• It is estimated that carpet recycling efforts currently have saved more than 1.5 billion pounds of waste from being deposited in U.S. landfills.

• Many times, carpet is replaced before it is worn out because it no longer has the appearance of a new carpet. CRI understands the investment put into a carpet - and also the environmental ramifications of replacing carpet before its time. That’s why we created the CRI Seal of Approval program – to extend carpet’s longevity.

• The Seal of Approval program helps customers identify carpet cleaning products that clean effectively without harming the carpet. From spot cleaning to periodic deep extraction cleaning, proper carpet maintenance is the first step in preserving the life of carpet. For a list of certified carpet cleaning products, click on Seal of Approval at carpet-rug.org.

• The carpet industry is constantly looking for ways to continue to reduce its environmental footprint.

Learn more in the CRI Sustainability Reports on the CRI website. Visit carpet-rug.org and criblog.org to learn more.

CRI wants to be known not just as the science-based source of information about carpet, but as the first stop for any and all questions about this useful floor covering.

Click on this link for the complete list of Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Downloadable Fact Sheets.

Next – The facts about sustainability for architects, designers and builders.

~Bethany

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Carpet, Good to Community by Werner Braun

Carpet: Good to Community by Werner Braun

Good Corporate Neighbors Give Back to Communities, Explains Werner Braun

In his April 22, 2011 column titled "Carpet has been good to community" for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun describes how one local charity event illustrates the many ways the carpet industry benefits Dalton and North Georgia.

“Holding the title as “Carpet Capital of the World” is a reflection of many things for our community. It is obviously a source of pride to be identified as a haven for one of the last bastions of American manufacturing. But as we roll into the Easter weekend and I reflect on the many blessings in my life I would be remiss if I didn’t point out just how wonderful this industry is as a community partner and how it continues to make a difference in the lives of people who have nothing to do with our industry.”

Case in point occurred just recently as Mohawk Industries celebrated a new partnership with Harvey Norman Flooring.  It began as a simple lighthearted wager over singing skills and turned into a significant fundraiser benefiting the United Way of Northwest Georgia. On April 13 the two companies staged a “Battle of the Ballads” singing showcase at the Dalton Golf and Country Club. Approximately 250 guests celebrated the relationship between Mohawk and Harvey Norman Flooring and watched as Mohawk’s Steve Powers and Harvey Norman’s Shaun McGovern competed for the title of best singer, to settle a bet they had made with each other in Shanghai.

The “Battle of the Ballads” raised more than $6,500 in contributions, including $1,500 as top bid when McGovern auctioned the authentic Australian Rugby shirt he wore during his singing performance.

Our industry continues to step up to the plate time and time again through initiatives such these. While we have all been hit hard over the last couple of years in a challenging economy, it is refreshing to see how our carpet manufacturers continue to demonstrate their commitment to the community in which they live.”

Here’s a link to a news story about the Battle; it's titled  Mohawk, Harvey Norman have 'Battle of Ballads'.

Thank you, Werner.

~Bethany

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Keeping Carpet Clean & Smelling Sweet: Scientific Tips

Keeping Carpet Clean & Smelling Sweet: Scientific Tips
I always enjoy the emails I receive from Mark Violand, maintenance division vice-president with D&R Carpet Service,  a commercial floorcare company from the Cleveland, Ohio, area. Every few months, Mark sends out an email with a short, but accurate description of a carpet cleaning problem and tips on how to address that problem.

What makes Mark’s articles so interesting is that he uses scientific information to explain why carpet fades, for example. His latest email looks at what makes carpet smell bad after it’s been cleaned. His article, titled, “Smelly Carpet” offers tips for keeping carpet clean and smelling sweet. It begins,

“Does the carpet you recently cleaned or had cleaned smell foul? Now, I know we have had our share of rain, and the carpet in your building or home may have gotten water damaged, which would definitely smell foul, but that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about carpet that was recently cleaned and while drying it smelled bad. If it smells like urine, well...it probably is. That is a whole other series of e-info cards. Call me if you have questions about that odor.”

Mark cites The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, (IICRC), S100 Carpet Cleaning Standard that emphasizes the importance of vacuuming as the first step in carpet cleaning. Since industry studies show that 79% of the soil in a carpet is dry, it makes sense to vacuum carpet before cleaning. Carpets will smell bad, Mark says, if either dirt or water, or both, are left in the fibers after the cleaning process. The biggest culprits, he says, are animal hair and cellulosic materials.

“We all know what a wet dog and old athletic socks smell like - well guess what? Humans are animals and shed hair, ask me how I know. And the cellulosic material, paper (which is abundant in offices) is made from wood and cotton, both are plants and considered cellulose. When those two things get wet and dry slow you will end up with a foul smell. So the best defense against foul, sour smelling carpet is vacuuming before cleaning and getting the carpet dry as fast as possible.”

Thanks, Mark, for all the good information you provide on carpet cleaning.

Here’s a question: How do you know when enough water has been removed for the carpet to dry quickly? The CRI Seal of Approval testing and certification program for carpet cleaning products and equipment requires that extractors remove enough water so that carpets are dry within approximately four hours, but how should carpet feel after it has been cleaned using a hot water or steam extraction process? (At home, I do the white sock test – when I step on my just-cleaned carpet wearing thick athletic socks, they should be damp, not wet all the way through. It’s not scientific, but it works for me.)

Can anyone offer insights into how you know whether carpets are dry enough just after cleaning?

~Bethany

Friday, June 17, 2011

Healthcare Administrators, Facility Managers Carpet Cleaning Facts

CRI's Healthcare Administrators, Facility Managers Carpet Cleaning Facts

A Carpet Prescription That Benefits Your Patients and Your Facility

The Facts about Carpet Cleaning and Maintenance for Healthcare Administrators and Facility Managers

This is the 12th in a series of 18 articles designed to share some of the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) best online assets – a collection of downloadable fact sheets.

Developed as easy-to-use, one-page position statements, the CRI Fact Sheets cover four main carpet-related topic areas: Indoor Air Quality, Asthma and Allergy, Cleaning Products, and Environmental Sustainability.

Each of these topics is addressed from the perspective of various market segments: carpet dealers and consumers; architects, designers and builders; school administrators and facility managers, and healthcare administrators and facility managers. There are also separate fact sheets explaining CRI’s Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality and Seal of Approval carpet cleaning standards – 18 fact sheets in all.

The fact sheet on cleaning products for healthcare administrators and facility managers begins,

"In healthcare settings, you need to keep your focus on patients and your eye on the budget. Carpet is not only affordable to install, but properly cleaned and maintained, it also delivers savings years into the future. Better yet, it enhances the overall safety of your healthcare environment." It continues:

What You Should Know About Carpet Cleaning Facts for Healthcare Administrators and Facility Managers:

• Carpet is cost effective. In fact, it can be 65 percent less expensive to maintain than hard surface flooring. While buying and installing hard surface flooring appears less expensive than carpet in the short run, the true cost of labor, supplies, and equipment over an average 22-year lifespan makes carpet a more cost-effective choice.

• Hard surface floors require 2 1/2 times more cleaning than carpet annually, increasing maintenance time and impacting limited human resources. Hard surface cleaning supplies are also nearly seven times more expensive than carpet cleaning supplies.

• To preserve the life of your carpet, clean it with supplies that have the CRI Seal of Approval. CRI created the Seal of Approval program to help customers identify carpet cleaning products that clean effectively without harming the carpet. For a list of these products, click on Seal of Approval at carpet-rug.org.

• The CRI Seal of Approval is especially important because independent testing shows that many cleaning detergents and spot removers clean no better than water. Worse, they can leave a sticky residue that attracts soil at a faster rate. There are also big differences in the soil removal capability among vacuums and extractors.

• Vacuuming is the single most effective means of keeping carpet clean; 90 to 95% of all dry soil by weight can be removed from carpet by following a routine schedule. Choose vacuums that bear the CRI Seal of Approval for assurance of effective soil removal and good air quality.

• Carpet also offers health benefits, helping to cushion the impact of falls and lessen the chance of injury. A study of 225 hospital slip and fall incidents with older patients found that 17% sustained injury when  falling on carpet, compared to 50% when falling on hard surfaces.

CRI wants to be known not just as the science-based source of information about carpet, but as the first stop for any and all questions about this useful floor covering.

Click on this link for the complete list of Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Downloadable Fact Sheets.

Next – The facts about cleaning products for carpet sustainability for carpet dealers and consumers.

~Bethany

Thursday, June 16, 2011

AB 2398: Information for Retailers from National Floor Trends

AB 2398: Information for Retailers from National Floor Trends

National Floor Trends article offers retailers information about AB2398

An article that appears in the June, 2011 issue of National Floor Trends gives a great overview of what retailers need to know about AB 2398, California’s recycling law for carpet.

Appropriately titled, “What Retailers Need to Know About California AB 2398”, the story is written by NFT associate editor Michael Chmielecki. The article is so good, I am tempted to put the entire text into this blog, but I will try and restrain myself and just publish big excerpts.

“Implementation for AB 2398 is right around the corner as flooring retailers selling carpet in California, and/or shipping it into the state, will be required to collect 5 cents per square yard from customers, beginning July 1. The requirement is part of California’s AB 2398 bill, which was passed last September and is designed to incentivize carpet recycling within the state.

AB 2398 covers both residential and commercial carpet (broadloom and carpet tile) sold or shipped into California. It does not include rugs, underlayment, carpet cushion, samples or synthetic turf. Additionally, any carpet that is sold and or installed outside of the state is not subject to the assessment; final sales and installations outside of California can be refunded with an exemption form.”

“The retailer must then pass the assessment onto their customers as a separate, after-tax line item on the customer invoice. CARE recommends the line item be labeled as “CA Crpt. Stewardship Assessment.”
Retailers in California may only sell carpets from manufacturers in compliance with AB 2398. CalRecycle will post a list of manufacturers in compliance on its website. Retailers and distributors (wholesalers) are required to monitor the list. If a manufacturer is not listed, they are asked to contact their mill sales representative or CARE directly.

Retailers carpet inventory purchased before the assessment was implemented must still include the assessment to consumers for any carpet sold in California, beginning July 1. The assessment must be remitted to HAW.  [accounting firm handling AB 2398 funds –ed.] Retailers will only submit funds directly to HAW during this transition period.

Retailers/contractors must also include the assessment as part of the purchase price when selling to general contractors. Retailers picking up the carpet in another state and bringing it to California for sale must inform the manufacturer at the time of pick up that the product will be sold in California so the assessment can be added. The legislation also requires that retailers retain their sales records for three fiscal years.

Anyone found not in compliance – including manufacturers, retailers and distributors – can be penalized up to $1,000 per day, or $10,000 per day if non-compliance is found to be knowing, negligent or intentional.

CARE has developed a set of consumer educational materials. The materials include a customer point-of-purchase brochure (with a Spanish version available online), a showroom placard to hold the brochures, a window cling and a PowerPoint presentation. Additional consumer education materials are available from manufacturers.”

This new law in California is not an easy one to understand – it seems to me that there are plenty of ways for a retailer to inadvertently slip up and fall out of compliance. Thanks to Michael Chmielecki and National Floor Trends for helping the carpet industry spread the word.
For additional perspective, you may want to read the following related blog posts:

~Bethany

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shaw Rug on ABC's "Modern Family"

Shaw Rug on ABC's

Shaw Rug Does Star Turn on ABC’s “Modern Family”

I tend to think of Wednesdays as good days. It’s the middle of the week, it’s the day that comes after Tuesday, which is my least favorite day, and, best of all, it’s the day Modern Family comes on. I know that, in these days of DVRs and Hulu, you can watch a TV show almost anytime you want, but to me, there’s something old fashioned and satisfying about waiting all week for something special, and at my house, one of the week’s high points happens on Wednesdays at nine.

Modern Family is about three branches of the same family tree; Jay, the patriarch, his daughter Claire and son Mitchell and their families. The show is multi-generational, and culturally and ethnically diverse. I like it because it is a very funny, but remarkably true and often touching depiction of what it is like to live with people who drive you crazy but whom you love anyway.

I’ve never thought much about the houses the three families live in on the show – only that they seem to fit the characters, and, as they are all located in the Los Angeles area, that they must be expensive. So I was surprised to read in a Los Angeles Times article recently - titled On 'Modern Family,' signature sensations - that most of the home furnishings on the sets for the show were purchased in stores around LA or online, at sites like Pottery Barn and West Elm. Wow, that means I could buy throw pillows just like the ones Phil and Claire Dunphy have!

Or, it turns out, you can have a rug just like the one in baby Lily’s room. It’s called Wildflowers and is from a Kathy Ireland collection manufactured by CRI-member Shaw Industries. It’s a beautiful rug, and I’m glad it’s getting its moment in the spotlight.

I just hope the Dunphys have a Seal of Approval-certified vacuum to clean it with…

~Bethany

Friday, June 10, 2011

Carpet Cleaning Facts For School Administrators, Facility Managers

CRI's Carpet Cleaning Facts For School Administrators, Facility Managers

Carpet Gets an “A” For Savings

The Facts about Carpet Cleaning and Maintenance for School
Administrators and Facility Managers

This is the 11th in a series of 18 articles designed to share some of the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) best online assets – a collection of downloadable fact sheets. Developed as easy-to-use, one-page position statements, the CRI Fact Sheets cover four main carpet-related topic areas: Indoor Air Quality, Asthma and Allergy, Cleaning Products, and Environmental Sustainability.

Each of these topics is addressed from the perspective of various market segments: carpet dealers and consumers; architects, designers and builders; school administrators and facility managers, and healthcare administrators and facility managers. There are also separate fact sheets explaining CRI’s Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality and Seal of Approval carpet cleaning standards – 18 fact sheets in all.

The fact sheet on cleaning products for school administrators and facility managers begins,

“For educational institutions, budgets are always going to be an issue. That’s what makes carpet the ideal flooring choice. Not only does it deliver better health and safety benefits, it’s also much more economical over the long term. It’s time schools got educated on the benefits of carpet.” It continues:

What You Should Know About Carpet Cleaning Facts For School Administrators & Facility Managers:

• Carpet is cost effective. In fact, it can be 65 percent less expensive to maintain than hard surface flooring. While buying and installing hard surface flooring appears less expensive than carpet in the short run, the true cost of labor, supplies, and equipment over an average 22-year lifespan makes carpet a more cost-effective choice.

• Hard surface floors require 2 1/2 times more cleaning than carpet annually, increasing maintenance time and impacting limited human resources. Hard surface cleaning supplies are also nearly seven times more expensive than carpet cleaning supplies.

• To preserve the life of your carpet, clean it with supplies that have the CRI Seal of Approval. CRI created the Seal of Approval program to help customers identify carpet cleaning products that clean effectively without harming the carpet. For a list of these products, click on Seal of Approval at carpet-rug.org.

• The CRI Seal of Approval is especially important because independent testing shows that many cleaning detergents and spot removers clean no better than water. Worse, they can leave a sticky residue that attracts soil at a faster rate. There are also big differences in the soil removal capability among vacuums  and extractors.

• Vacuuming is the single most effective means of keeping carpet clean; 90 to 95% of all dry soil by weight can be removed from carpet by following a routine schedule. Choose vacuums that bear the CRI Seal of Approval for assurance of effective soil removal and good air quality.

• Seal of Approval now offers test of vacuum energy efficiency that measures cleaning effectiveness in relation to energy consumption. Making product choices with this knowledge can lead to significant energy reduction and substantial savings over the long term.

• Carpet also requires periodic deep extraction cleaning. Seal of Approval deep cleaning extractors and systems (equipment and solutions) effectively remove soil and also recover most of the water or solution from the carpet.

CRI wants to be known not just as the science-based source of information about carpet, but as the first stop for any and all questions about this useful floor covering.

Click on this link for the complete list of Downloadable Carpet and Rug Institute Fact Sheets.

Next – The facts about cleaning products for healthcare administrators and facility managers.

~Bethany

Thursday, June 9, 2011

CRI's Werner Braun on Collaborating With Boulder Principles

CRI's Werner Braun on Collaborating With Boulder Principles

Werner Braun: Boulder Principles ease collaboration

In his May 20 column titled Boulder Principles ease collaboration for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun continues his discussion of the Boulder Principles, a set of best practices for conflict resolution he helped develop when he was a toxicologist with The Dow Chemical Company.

Fully titled, “The Boulder Principles for Effective Collaborative Processes on Sustainable Development and Environmental Policy,” the principles serve as a template for effective collaboration among people of disparate backgrounds and viewpoints.

Mr. Braun talked about how the set of rules he helped establish in the Boulder Principles continues to inform his decisions today. In brief, the guidelines consist of these basic tenets:

1) create an ethical base for the collaborative process, 2) encourage participation by all affected parties, 3) create an atmosphere of trust, 4) support the needs of diverse cultures, 5) establish a transparent and easily accessible process, 6) provide access to technical information, 7) recognize interests and knowledge of all parties, and 8) monitor effects of decisions and follow-up regarding implementation. The article continues, describing how Mr. Braun would apply the rules in a presentation to carpet retailers on the benefits of CRI’s Seal of Approval program for carpet cleaning products and equipment.

The first thing I would do during my presentation is illustrated in principle number five: establish a transparent and accessible process. This means presenting them with CRI’s mission, which is to position CRI as the source for science-based information on soft floorcovering. I would then proceed to establish a transparent and accessible process by clearly identifying issues, goals and work product.

For the next step, I would use Boulder Principle number six: provide access to technical information. The process of generating, compiling and analyzing information must be balanced by recognizing that there will always be uncertainties.

It would be easy to come to an agreement about indoor air quality if all parties knew that through CRI’s Seal of Approval (SOA) Program, indoor air quality can be improved by using cleaning products and vacuums that have been approved for overall cleaning effectiveness.

The last Boulder Principle I would use is number eight: monitor effects of decisions and follow-up regarding implementation. By now, I’ve given the listener a lot to think about, but it all has little value if I don’t follow up and see if they implemented using SOA products in their cleaning routines.

By the end of the discussion, what I’d hope the group got out of the collaboration process and using the Boulder Principles is that carpet cleaning products, methods and equipment are improving all the time, and because of this, people can have healthy indoor environments. Some still may be unsure, but I’m confident many would think twice before cleaning their carpet with products that weren’t SOA-approved.”

Thank you, Werner.

How might you see applying the Boulder Principles to your organization?

~Bethany

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Consumer Guide to Vacuum Cleaners Cites CRI Seal of Approval

Consumer Guide to Vacuum Cleaners Cites CRI Seal of Approval

Washington Post Cites CRI Seal of Approval in Article about Vacuums By Jura Koncius, Published April 27, 2011

In an article titled, “A consumer guide to vacuum cleaners”, Washington Post Local Living writer Jura Koncius offers consumer advice on the best ways to choose and operate a vacuum cleaner and mentions the Carpet and Rug Institute's Seal of Approval vacuum testing program. Jura contacted CRI for the article, and also spoke with SOA participating manufacturer Electrolux. Here are excerpts:

“Vacuum cleaners are the front line of the war against dust. Today’s revved-up, dressed-up machines have ways to suck focaccia crumbs out of a keyboard and Afghan hound hair from a sisal rug.

The first widely known upright vac (a “suction sweeper”) was invented in 1907 by a guy who had asthma. His design was marketed with great success by the Hoover company. Today, dozens of brands tout dizzying lists of features.

Vacuuming Operating Tips

Dump the dust. In bagless models, empty dirt cups after every use. Change vacuum bags when they are three-quarters full. Never empty and reuse them.

Check the belt. Many uprights need belts replaced every one or two years to maintain optimum power. For details, visit the Vacuum Dealers Trade Association Web site, www.vdta.com.

Keep it clean. Jay Morris of Brothers Sew & Vacsuggests wiping out the cavity where the bag sits with a damp paper cloth.

Turn it off. Turn the vacuum switch off before you plug or unplug the machine.

Shop Smart for Vacuums

1. In addition to cleaning power, consider a vacuum’s weight and noise level. Test it in person, even if you end up ordering online.

2. Consider a model with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, especially if any family member has allergies or asthma.

3. If you have a large home, make sure the hose and cord lengths are adequate. Allison Duy, a spokeswoman for Electrolux, says, “There is nothing worse than having to keep unplugging.”

Vacuums by the Numbers

55 - Percentage of consumers who vacuum two to three times a week.

40 - Average pounds of dust collected annually in a six-room house.

53 - Percentage of consumers frustrated that their vacuums don’t clean stairs well.

Sources:

Electrolux; Home Furnishings News

Resource for Vacuums

The Carpet and Rug Institute (www.carpet-rug.org) lists ratings of vacuums tested for soil removal and containment.”

Thank, you, Jura, for helping people choose a good vacuum. It’s important for so many reasons!

Bethany

Friday, June 3, 2011

Carpet Cleaning Facts For Architects, Designers, Builders

CRI's Carpet Cleaning Facts For Architects, Designers, Builders

Proper Cleaning is the Foundation For Savings

The Facts about Carpet Cleaning and Maintenance for Architects, Designers and Builders

This is the 10th in a series of 18 articles designed to share some of the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) best online assets – a collection of downloadable fact sheets. Developed as easy-to-use, one-page position statements, the CRI Fact Sheets cover four main carpet-related topic areas: Indoor Air Quality, Asthma and Allergy, Cleaning Products, and Environmental Sustainability.

Each of these topics is addressed from the perspective of various market segments: carpet dealers and consumers; architects, designers and builders; school administrators and facility managers, and healthcare administrators and facility managers. There are also separate fact sheets explaining CRI’s Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality and Seal of Approval carpet cleaning standards – 18 fact sheets in all.

The fact sheet on cleaning products for architects, designers and builders begins,

"It’s a simple idea: Take care of your carpet and it will take care of you. Not only does it look great and offer indoor air quality and safety benefits, properly maintained carpet offers a host of savings opportunities. Research proves that over time, no other flooring option offers you as much potential for saving money." It continues,

What You Should Know About Carpet Cleaning & Maintenance If You're an Architect, Designer or Builder

• Carpet is cost effective. In fact, it can be 65 percent less expensive to maintain than hard surface flooring. While buying and installing hard surface flooring appears less expensive than carpet in the short run, the true cost of labor, supplies, and equipment over an average 22-year lifespan makes carpet a more cost-effective choice.

• Hard surface floors require 2 1/2 times more cleaning than carpet annually, increasing maintenance time and impacting limited human resources. Hard surface cleaning supplies are also nearly seven times more expensive than carpet cleaning supplies.

• To preserve the life of your carpet, clean it with supplies that have the CRI Seal of Approval. CRI created the Seal of Approval program to help customers identify carpet cleaning products that clean effectively without harming the carpet. For a list of these products, click on Seal of Approval at carpet-rug.org.

• The CRI Seal of Approval is especially important because independent testing shows that many cleaning detergents and spot removers clean no better than water. Worse, they can leave a sticky residue that attracts soil at a faster rate. There are also big differences in the soil removal capability among vacuums and extractors.

• Vacuuming is the single most effective means of keeping carpet clean; 90 to 95% of all dry soil by weight can be removed from carpet by following a routine schedule. Choose vacuums that bear the CRI Seal of Approval for assurance of effective soil removal and good air quality.

• Seal of Approval now offers test of vacuum energy efficiency that measures cleaning effectiveness in relation to energy consumption. Making product choices with this knowledge can lead to significant energy reduction and substantial savings over the long term.

• Carpet also requires periodic deep extraction cleaning. Seal of Approval deep cleaning extractors and systems (equipment and solutions) effectively remove soil and also recover most of the water or solution from the carpet.

CRI wants to be known not just as the science-based source of information about carpet, but as the first stop for any and all questions about this useful floor covering.

Click on this link to see the complete list of Carpet and Rug Institute Downloadable Fact Sheets.

Next – The facts about cleaning products for school administrators and facility managers.

~Bethany

Thursday, June 2, 2011

CRI's Werner Braun on Building Trust

CRI's Werner Braun on Building Trust

Trust is Essential to Effective Negotiations - Werner Braun

In his May 6 column, titled Building Trust - Trust Leads to Effective Negotiations for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun discusses the Boulder Principles, a set of best practices for conflict resolution he helped develop when he was a toxicologist with The Dow Chemical Company.

Fully titled, “The Boulder Principles for Effective Collaborative Processes on Sustainable Development and Environmental Policy,” the principles serve as a template for effective collaboration among people of disparate backgrounds and viewpoints.

Mr. Braun talked about how the rules he helped establish in the Boulder Principles continue to inform his decisions today. In brief, the guidelines consist of these basic tenets:

1) create an ethical base for the collaborative process, 2) encourage participation by all affected parties, 3) create an atmosphere of trust, 4) support the needs of diverse cultures, 5) establish a transparent and easily accessible process, 6) provide access to technical information, 7) recognize interests and knowledge of all parties, and 8) monitor effects of decisions and follow-up regarding implementation.

The Boulder Principles were developed in the mid-1990s when Mr. Braun took part in The Great Lakes Initiative — the 1995 agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Great Lakes states to create a comprehensive plan to restore the health of the Great Lakes. The project was funded by George Kuper and the Council of Great Lakes Industry. The article continues:

“At that time, trust — especially between the manufacturing community and the public — was not always at the table. There were a lot of players involved, many from different cultural backgrounds and mindsets about what should be done for the Great Lakes.

A key aspect of the meetings was that people with varied interests and experiences were involved. Participants included representatives of industry, academia, the scientific community, indigenous tribes, NGOs, government, community and minority groups, and environmental issues organizations. There was an interesting dynamic in the room at that first meeting; there wasn’t a whole lot of trust among the group, and negotiations did not start out strong.

Fortunately, feelings changed over time. After the first day’s session, the group went rock climbing. Each participant took turns climbing the six-story rope — that’s 60 feet. When each participant strapped onto the rope to climb and handed off to the anchor person at the bottom, they were literally saying, “I trust you to catch me if I fall.” It’s during that rock climbing adventure I learned a very valuable lesson — the real key in the area of negotiation (with your colleagues or your significant other) is trust. The next two meetings went smoothly and we were successful in making “bold” Boulder Principles.”

Thank you, Werner.

What have you found effective for building trust when you negotiate?

~Bethany
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