Happy Feet International, a master distributor of luxury vinyl plank and tile, has applied green practices to its manufacturing processes for years to both reduce waste and recycle materials. Ahead of Earth Day, Happy Feet highlighted some of its practices to demonstrate ways to reduce the impact on the environment and encourage others in the industry to implement similar initiatives.

Happy Feet’s eco-friendly operations include the implementation of automatic wrapping machines for securing pallets as well as cardboard balers for recycling cardboard. While Earth Day is recognized annually on April 22 to show support for environmental protection, Happy Feet says there are actions the flooring industry can take every day to contribute to greener outcomes.

“Our goal is to minimize waste in all of our processes,” said Justin Tanner, Happy Feet’s warehouse operations manager. “We are always thinking about ways we can act now to reduce waste and recycle for a better tomorrow, and while it’s good for our community, it’s also good for business by increasing efficiencies which impact our bottom line.”

Happy Feet’s implementation of automatic wrappers reduces the amount of plastic used in securing shipments of flooring. The process of wrapping pallets by hand only allows about 10 percent of stretch within the plastic; however, using the automatic wrappers expands that range to about 200-250 percent. The automatic wrapping machines maximize the stretch of the plastic film, so drastically less plastic is used overall in securing pallets.

Recycling materials is also an important focus for the company. Happy Feet recycles whenever possible, including housing recycling dumpsters at its high-volume distribution facilities. The team uses cardboard balers to efficiently compress recyclables, thus reducing waste from going into landfills. For every ton of cardboard recycled, it is estimated to save approximately nine cubic yards of landfill space and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent. 

Additionally, broken wood pallets that are used in the shipping of Happy Feet’s products are sent to a local pallet maker to be recycled into new ones. According to the USDA Forest Service, the annual recycling of 350 million wood pallets is equivalent to saving over 40 million trees, and Happy Feet is proud to contribute to those milestones.

For more information visit HappyFeetInternational.com.