Friday, November 30, 2012

Carpet and Rug Institute Updates 11 Technical Bulletins

Carpet and Rug Institute Updates 11 Technical Bulletins

New! Updated Technical Bulletins from the Carpet and Rug Institute

Did you know that the Carpet and Rug Institute has a whole library of technical bulletins on its website?

That’s right - CRI has an entire section of technical bulletins, white papers and scientific research available for anyone with the time (and patience) to access.

Eleven of these important technical documents have been updated in 2012. They are listed below. Additional bulletins are scheduled for review and updating in 2013.

We’ll feature one new Carpet and Rug Institute technical bulletin each week on this blog.

CRI's Environmental and Safety Technical Bulletins

CRI's General Carpet Characteristics Technical Bulletins

CRI's Technical Bulletin on Installation

CRI Technical Bulletin on Maintenance of Carpet

Stay tuned for more detail on each of these 11 updated Carpet and Rug Institute Technical Bulletins.
~ Bethany

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cutting the Painful Costs of Divorce in Dalton, Georgia

If you live in Dalton, Georgia, “the carpet capital of the world”  long enough, you will likely hear the story of how one night in the 1970s, Johnny Carson read a news item on the Tonight Show  that identified Dalton as having the highest divorce rate per capita of any town in the U.S. This is the origin of Dalton’s being called the Divorce Capital of the World. While that label may not hold true today, Dalton does have a higher rate of divorce than the rest of the country.

Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun examines the public and private costs of divorce in his column titled "The unfortunate legacy of divorce" dated October 25, 2012 column for the Dalton Daily-Citizen.

 “With Dalton’s divorce rate surging above the national average of around 50 percent by about another 8 percent, to 58 percent, we are a community that is comprised of a large number of single-parent homes. Around 75 percent of our community’s school-aged kids don’t live with both biological parents. And we all know that children who don’t have both parents in the home are susceptible to having greater difficulties in life.

 This reality can be borne out by other “unfortunate” ways Dalton exceeds the national averages: we have higher-than-the-national-average rates of teenage pregnancy and of high school dropouts. We also have a frighteningly high number of young people being sent to our regional Youth Detention Center. The fact that so many of our young people ‘act out’ in these ways is directly related to their home situations and to the reduced incomes that many face once their parents part ways.”

The column describes the work being done by a group called Family Frameworks, which, among other programs designed to help stem the tide of divorce, sends volunteers into city and county high schools to work with students on building strategies for cultivating healthy relationships as adults. Group leader Kathy Schleier says, “Knowing how to select good partners to begin with, and how to maintain those relationships over time, is critical to reducing the high incidence of divorce.”

Family Frameworks holds semi-annual community Date Nights with invited speakers and encourages other relationship-building activities, including a class called “Marriage 911.” 

The article concludes by noting that, while not every town gets mentioned for its divorce rate on national television, divorce is a problem in communities across the U.S.

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Seven Reasons Why Carpet is Number One Flooring Choice

Seven Reasons Why Carpet is Number One Flooring Choice

Flooring expert discusses carpets benefits and advantages

An article titled, Carpet – Benefits and Advantages, written by flooring contractor John Rutledge, highlights some of the reasons carpet is still homeowners’ #1 flooring choice.

1. Carpet Provides Safety

First and foremost, a carpeted floor is a safer floor. The soft surface and cushioned under-padding not only reduce the impact of a fall, but also the likelihood of it happening in the first place. Carpet is inherently slip-resistant, meaning it’s harder to slip and fall.

2. Carpet Provides Sound Reduction

If you live in a busy home with lots of traffic, you know how loud wood or laminate floors can be. Carpet stifles noise and reduces echoes in three ways; absorbing the impact of foot traffic, soaking up room sounds and echoes and finally, by blocking sound from carrying between floors (especially helpful in condo apartments or multi-family homes).

3. Carpet Offers Warmth & Insulation

Carpet provides excellent warmth underfoot, making it a great choice for chilly bedrooms or stark offices. Carpet also acts as an insulator. The combination of the carpet and its under-padding acts as an additional layer of insulation in your home and - depending on the weight and grade of your carpet - it can even add to the R-value of your home.

4. Carpet For Ease of Care

Most carpets made today are made to be highly stain-resistant, meaning cleanup is easy. With just a damp cloth or a quick vacuuming, your floors look as good as new. Because carpets trap dust and allergens, they can also improve the air quality in your home as long they’re properly cleaned and vacuumed on a regular basis.

5. Carpet Flexibility and Style: Limitless! 

Carpet isn’t limited to just a few colors or grains. You can get carpet in any style, design, color or pattern that you want. Because of its versatility, carpet fits in well in any design scheme.

6. Carpet: Available at Low Cost

Typically, carpet costs significantly less than other types of flooring like tile, marble or hardwood. Even with professional installation, carpet tends to cost much less than other types of flooring options.

7. Extensive Carpet Warranty

Unlike many hard surface flooring, most carpeting comes with an extensive manufacturer’s warranty that covers pile, installation and craftsmanship.

This covers a lot of reasons –anyone have any more to add?

~ Bethany

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012 From CRI and CARE!

Happy Thanksgiving 2012 From CRI and CARE!
Happy Thanksgiving from the whole
flock at CRI and CARE!













We are grateful for your support
of the carpet industry,
and of The Carpet and Rug Institute
this year and every year.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Werner Braun and The American Dream

Werner Braun and The American Dream
Then and now, the American Dream is within reach for immigrants explains Werner Braun.

In his October 19, 2012 column titled The American Dream in the Dalton’s Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun shares an immigrant’s thoughts on the American dream, in light of the presidential election of 2012. He says he is frustrated and puzzled by rhetoric expressed by some of the candidates, i.e., that the U.S. system of government and way of life is a stacked deck for immigrants.

 “Some candidates are classifying the “underprivileged” in this great nation as “victims” of society. They seem to be suggesting that the “system,” meaning our government and our way of life, is against them. That mindset is very frustrating to me.”

The American Dream is still very much alive in my book, and it’s still — unless I’m mistaken — open to anyone who is willing to do the work to achieve it.”

Mr. Braun describes a family that, perhaps by some politicians’ standards, was unlikely to succeed in the United States.

“That young couple came to the U.S. with their 4-year-old child a number of decades ago.  When they arrived, no one in the family could speak a word of English, and they had only three suitcases to their name.

 The husband in this family had held down an excellent job in the country from which they came, but the only work he could find in this country was working in a cemetery, finishing graves with shovels and painting by hand the wrought iron fence around the graveyard.

 The mother and father dedicated themselves to becoming U.S. citizens at night, the only time they could set aside to study because both worked long hours six days a week.

 Ultimately, they were able to accomplish that goal. After six years of study, of learning the English language from scratch, they became very proud U.S. citizens. Soon after that, they were able to purchase their first home. During all of this time, this couple did not take one dollar of aid from anyone or from the government.

 This couple also had another dream. Their dream was for their son to go to college and get a degree. They made sure that their son embraced this dream as well and that he had the aspirations, the desire, to fulfill it. Ultimately, their son earned his college degree and was the first member of their extended family to do so.

 I guess that’s why it bothers me when I hear candidates for public office talk about people having “the cards stacked against them.” I’d like to point out that the cards are not stacked against these folks. On the contrary, the cards are arranged in such a way that they can have a winning hand if they’re only willing to work at it — and work hard.

 In that family of immigrants that I know very well, both the husband and the wife have since passed away. But if they were alive today, I would take the time to say, “Thank you, mom and dad, for achieving that dream and making it possible to me.”

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How Will Election 2012 Affect the Carpet Industry

How Will Election 2012 Affect the Carpet Industry
Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun’s November 9, 2012 column titled Politics as usual in the Dalton’s Daily-Citizen  newspaper contains an analysis of the 2012 presidential election and its potential effect on the carpet industry. Specific points to watch include

• “The EPA will continue its campaign to regulate greenhouse gases (GHG).

• President Obama’s EPA is expected to quickly expand regulation of GHG (which currently only applies to new power plants) to older power facilities, oil refineries and, possibly, large industrial carbon emitters.

• President Obama’s EPA is expected to quickly expand regulations in general.

 This concerns us because as with most manufacturing, carpet production uses a tremendous amount of energy and relies heavily on energy produced by coal.

 If there continues to be increased regulations imposed on power plants, we can expect to see higher prices for oil, gasoline and other fuels which will result in increased costs for electricity and for the transportation of goods. This will result in higher prices all around.

 The increased cost to the industries will then be passed down the line to the consumer, driving down competition in the United States while making us less attractive in the global marketplace at the same time.

 Some of our other concerns have to do with this administration’s “comprehensive energy policy.” We expect, for example, that:

• The president will continue to walk a fine line on natural gas exploration and the “fracking” policy as his administration will be receptive to environmental concerns to increased drilling — particularly on federally-owned lands — which could potentially slow production of both natural gas and oil.

• These policies, along with environmental regulations that will disincentivize coal use and efforts to remove tax incentives for oil and gas exploration, could push energy and transportation prices higher.

 We hope that the president and members of Congress will indeed follow what Obama is calling his “balanced approach” and will consider what’s best for American business with respect to increasing regulations that may well jeopardize many American industries.

 The health of our economy and our future as a powerful nation are at stake.”

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Campaign Visits Carpet Fiber Producer Universal in Virginia

I’m a native Virginian, and whenever I speak to my friend Brendan McSheehy at Universal Fibers in Bristol, Virginia, I get homesick for the beautiful state where I grew up, and where most of my family still live.

In fact, I wish I could have been in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, when Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan visited Universal Fibers.

Virginia is an important swing state, and has consequently seen a great deal of campaign activity, (in contrast to us Georgians, who have seen nary a political ad or pollster phone call). 

Marc Ammen, Universal Fibers President and CEO, discussed Rep. Ryan’s visit to Universal with Kemp Harr, publisher of Floor Focus magazine and flooring news website Mr Ammen said Universal employees had created and individually signed a banner which they sent to the Romney/Ryan campaign to invite the candidates to visit Universal’s Virginia manufacturing facilities. Ammen said they did not know for certain the candidate was coming until four days before the event, and that the whirlwind of activity preparing for the event was monumental, but that the Universal employees had welcomed the visit enthusiastically. The success of the Ryan visit was not about the candidate, Ammen said, but rather, “all about Universal. They built that.”

Universal Fibers was founded in 1969. Today, the company ships products all around the world.

Listen to the seven-minute interview with Universal's Marc Ammen on Paul Ryan's visit to Universal by clicking on this link or on the image below. here: 

~ Bethany

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Household Dust and Allergy Protections

Household Dust and Allergy Protections

Want Healthier Kids? Let Them Get Dirty! Harvard Doctor Says a Little Household Dust May Offer Allergy Protection

An article titled "A little household dust may offer allergy protection"  by Harvard University Medical Professor Dr. Anthony Komaroff  points out that, while it’s best to keep household dust under control, exposing newborns and infants to low levels of dust and dirt during their early lives may provide the immunological challenge that will make them healthier later in life. His comments are based on research from Germany  that shows that farm kids grow up with less asthma and allergies than kids raised in cities.

  “What is dust? It's a little like sausage: You don't want to know what's in it. But I'll tell you anyway.

 More than half of household dust comes from soil either tracked into the home or wafting in as airborne particles through doors and windows.

 The most vulnerable family members are the youngest: Infants are up to 100 times more susceptible to the health hazards of dust-borne pollutants than adults.”

 To keep dust down indoors, Dr. K recommends:

• Regular housekeeping.

• Frequent vacuuming; up to several times per week with a high-efficiency vacuum like the ones listed in the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval testing and certification program for vacuums.  

• Wear a mask when cleaning house

• Use door mats, or better yet, remove your shoes before you come indoors.  

• Install weatherproofing around doors and windows

• Change furnace and air conditioner filters regularly

• Consider using a portable HEPA air cleaner unit.
But is household dust always bad? Maybe not, says Dr. K.

“New research indicates that newborns and very young children who grow up in relatively "dirty" surroundings, such as farms, may actually be protected against developing allergies and allergic diseases (such as asthma) later in life. I'm not urging you to keep a dusty home for the first few years of a child's life, but someday you may hear that advice!”

~ Bethany

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Feeling Good about Carpet and Indoor Air Quality

In his August 10, 2012 column titled "Buying carpet with low emissions" in the Dalton’s Daily-Citizen Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun talks about carpet as a comfortable, beautiful, and - above all - safe floor covering choice for your home.

The carpet industry has taken a lead in reducing emissions from carpets that once contained very small amounts of chemicals to those that contain almost none at all.

 It’s actually a fact that carpet has long been one of the lowest-emitting products you can bring into your home. But the myth that carpet releases high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds  (VOCs) has persisted. And it’s just not the case. In fact, I call it an urban legend

 For those of you who are concerned about levels of VOCs in your flooring, you should know that the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has created an indoor air-quality testing program called Green Level Plus, which tests carpets for VOCs and certifies those brands that are low-emitting.

 This program has been in place for over two decades, and I’m happy to say that since then the vast majority of products produced by CRI members have surpassed the Green Level Plus standards.

 We also have a Green Label Plus program for the adhesives that are used in installation, and a
Green Label program for the padding that is used to cushion the carpet
  Green Level Plus is kind of like an Energy Star rating, where you have a seal that indicates that the product has met the highest standards. If you see an icon with the acronym CRI inside of a small green house on the label of the carpet  you’re purchasing you’ll know it’s met CRI’s Green Level Plus standard.

By far, the vast majority of commercial and residential carpets available for purchase today meet the Green Label Plus standard. You can find a long list of certified Green Label Plus products on the CRI website.” 

Thanks, Werner.

~ Bethany
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