Is Marble Sustainable?
Marble provides an elegant, classy look for your living space. There are also green benefits of marble that enhance the quality of the environment. Homeowners today are concerned about the environmental impact of their home appliances and decor. As a natural stone taken from beneath the earth’s surface, marble produces fewer carbon emissions than those of manufactured products.
If you are considering marble for your flooring, rest assured that you are investing in sustainable material. Factories that prepare marble tables, flooring and inlay designs ensure that their companies make efficient use of the earth’s natural resources. This material also lasts much longer than standard flooring, but you can recycle it if you ever need to replace it. Here are four reasons why marble is good for the environment and a healthy choice for your home.
1. Marble Is Safe for Manufacturers and Homeowners
Sustainable organizations seek to improve the health of their customers, along with the well-being of our planet. Eco-friendly products like marble are free from toxic chemicals and gases that could reduce the air quality of your home. Choosing to decorate your home with marble is a wise investment for your mental, physical and emotional health.
While homeowners are concerned about their safety and health, they also care about the well-being of the employees manufacturing their household flooring, cabinetry and appliances. Factory employees often work long hours and receive a small salary while working in harsh conditions. The fumes from the factory could make them weak and dizzy, leaving them vulnerable to long-term health problems over time.
Manufacturing companies of sustainable materials pay their workers a decent salary. These corporations have established regulations that enforce the safety and health of workers in their commercial buildings. You can trust that marble comes from a reliable source and provides better health for your home because:
- It creates jobs for marble collectors: Since natural stone isn’t built in a factory by a machine like other materials, there are additional jobs available for workers to dig the ground and retrieve the stone. Marble collectors would be out in the fresh air instead of stuck inside a factory with toxic fumes.
- The worksites provide better air quality: The smoke from the machines in factories pollutes the atmosphere and reduces the air quality of the surrounding area. Since marble isn’t manufactured in a factory, marble flooring production sends less pollution into the air. Unlike human-made products, marble doesn’t produce toxins that can harm employees of the manufacturing site. The workers at these locations, as well as residents of the surrounding area, can breathe clean air during marble production.
- Manufacturing areas are safer and healthier for employees: The Natural Stone Sustainability Standard provides health and safety regulations for workers, including competitive salaries and proper accommodations. As a result, employers in the natural stone industry are aware of how their working conditions affect their employees. By investing in marble, you are supporting organizations that promote a better work environment.
- It promotes land reclamation after quarrying: When marble collectors create quarries, they need to dig hundreds of feet under the ground, removing trees and grass from the area. After the manufacturers finish quarrying, sustainable corporations strive to restore the land’s lush greenery and provide livable land again. This process includes filling the gaps in the area with heavy rock, cement, clay and dirt. Local towns use reclaimed properties for recreational areas, reforestation or grazing land.
- It brings fewer toxins into the home: Wood composite and other human-made materials could bring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your home, such as formaldehyde. Even mixing various ingredients to manufacture other materials requires the use of petroleum-based resins. As a natural stone, marble is free from contaminants that could harm the air quality of your living space. Since your flooring material is from the earth, you can trust that it’s safe to have in the house.
2. Marble Saves Energy and Resources During Production
The environmental impact of marble is minimal compared to manufactured products. Preparing natural stone as a flooring material doesn’t emit the same carbon as human-made materials. The Natural Stone Sustainability Standard enforces the healthy and eco-friendly production of marble. Sustainability organizations such as the Natural Stone Council help to create a better world for the next generation.
Marble’s environmental impact provides the following benefits to both factories and homes:
- Preserving clean water: Manufactured products require the use of clean water to power their machines. If the water isn’t fresh, factory workers have to treat it, which can contaminate our drinking water. Marble companies use less machinery to craft their products, thus using less water to power their machines. Any water used in the production of marble is collected rainwater or filtered, recycled water to make the most of their limited resources.
- Saving energy expenditure in factories and your home: Sustainable companies try to use the least amount of energy possible. The mining industry consumed 12% of the total energy of the United States industrial sector in 2018. Marble organizations strive to use energy-efficient machinery that creates fewer carbon emissions. Non-renewable resources, such as natural gas, petroleum and coal, produce pollution over time. Companies that pride themselves in eco-friendly practices have decreased their use of coal and increased their use of natural gas and renewable resources. In your house, marble has a thermal mass that naturally preserves the warmth in your living environment. You can save money and energy in the winter that you would’ve used to power your furnace, which typically runs on oil or gas.
- Reducing toxic chemicals during production: Toxic products can deplete the clean resources of the earth, including drinking water and farmland. Instead of using non-renewable resources and other pollutants, marble manufacturers have limited their use of chemicals while making marble slabs. The sustainable marble work sites send fewer harmful pollutants into the air than smoke from factories.
- Marble companies use less energy to transport their products: Trucks and other modes of shipping expend energy to carry products to their distributors, sending toxic gases into the air as they move. Sustainable corporations make a conscious effort to use less energy when transporting their products. This effort includes using virtual maps to find the shortest distance to a location or using alternative fuel in their vehicles.
- Limiting the use of resources: When manufacturers take more materials from the earth than their projects require, they produce waste. Instead of wasting their excess products, marble companies have a goal to use fewer supplies. Sustainable organizations also make the most out of their financial resources. Preparing marble is eco-friendly because the economy can sustain this cost-effective practice.
- You can use less waste to design it: If you choose a marble inlay in your flooring, a waterjet medallion design only requires water pressure and natural stone, so it has a smaller environmental impact than paint. After you decide on how you want your medallion to look, the same artist who drew up the plan puts the drawings in a machine. The waterjet machine etches the design right onto the same stone slab you’ll receive.
3. Marble Is Durable and Less Likely to Need Replacement
Marble can last for many centuries, as demonstrated by the Taj Mahal and the Washington Monument. It can withstand fire and weather-related damage, providing a long-lasting flooring material for your home. Since it lasts so long, marble won’t demand a replacement as often as other materials. Instead of changing your flooring every few years, you can save money over time with sturdy, reliable marble surfaces.
Here are some of the reasons why the durability of marble is good for the environment:
- Marble is easy to clean: Most marble stains come out with the same soap and water you would use to wash your hands. You should also clean up spills right away to further prevent etching on your marble flooring and use less cleaning products over time. Since the cleaning products for marble are free from harmful acidic chemicals, maintaining this luxury material provides safe and healthy stone surfaces. As you keep up with cleaning the marble in your house, you’ll save money that you would’ve spent replacing your flooring.
- Certain types of marble have higher durability than others: Marble is available in a variety of colors and porous qualities. The porous nature of this natural stone makes it vulnerable to liquid damage. If you want a floor that you don’t have to seal and treat as often, you can install a more dense marble, such as Carrara Marble. Consider moisture-resistant marble for your bathroom or kitchen.
- Safe treatments are available for your marble flooring: Every couple of years, you should apply a sealing to your floor to maintain its shine and prevent liquid damage. Eco-friendly marble corporations provide healthy alternatives to toxic sealants by including fewer chemicals in their products. Instead of using VOCs, these sealing agents contain water-based and plant-based ingredients.
- You won’t need to replace your marble flooring: By choosing a flooring material that will last longer, you’re providing more resources for marble artisans to create new products for other customers. Marble businesses create their flooring on demand to reduce the amount of waste they create during production. Instead of replacing your marble flooring when it gets dull, you can add a sealant to restore its shine. Since this material is durable, you won’t be required to switch it out as often as one that’s prone to cracking or chipping.
- You will want to keep your marble flooring: Marble is so beautiful that you won’t want to get rid of it. The elegance of marble is a cut above other flooring materials. If you wish to update your living space, you might have second thoughts about replacing marble. Organizations that prepare natural stone can save money and energy that they would’ve used to making you new slabs for your flooring.
Browse Aalto Marble Inlay’s Collection of Sustainable Marble Flooring
Is marble good for the environment? Yes, and it would be a great addition to your home. Our team at Aalto Marble Inlay will provide you with sustainable marble flooring for your kitchen, living room or bathroom. Browse through our collection of floors and marble inlay medallions.
You can customize your marble medallions to accommodate any design aesthetic. We use an energy-efficient waterjet method to etch a design into natural stone to create our inlays. Contact us online or call 319-237-7230 for more information about the installation and configuration of your marble remodeling project.