By now you probably have seen a lot of landscape rug ads in the past few months, mostly from American landscaping companies that are trying to get you to buy their products.
But are these rug ads really helping you in your home?
The short answer is no, according to the experts at the University of Toronto.
The study by researchers at the Centre for Sustainable Landscape Architecture and Design and the School of Landscape Science found that the carpet industry has a very poor track record when it comes to promoting sustainable landscape architecture.
The researchers looked at the amount of advertising placed on the landscape rug industry by leading landscape carpet companies from 2012 to 2016 and compared the results with how the landscape architecture industry responded to these ads.
They found that while the carpet manufacturers’ marketing efforts were not all that effective, they did have a lot to contribute to the sustainability of landscape architecture and its sustainable design practices.
The research found that of the 895 landscape rug companies that participated in the study, only six made any significant contribution to the landscape design community.
That is, the companies only mentioned a handful of sustainable landscape design practices, including planting trees and removing invasive plants, while the landscape architects themselves, often with the help of consultants, worked to implement these practices.
In fact, the study found that in only two cases did a landscape architect make a contribution to a landscape design initiative.
In the case of the Landscape Research Center, a research group that focuses on sustainable landscape building, they made one contribution to their work by sponsoring an innovative design concept, a grassy park in the heart of Toronto called the Evergreen Forest.
The Evergreen forest is a green space in the centre of Toronto, and it is currently being built on a piece of land where the forest meets a creek.
The scientists found that only one of the six carpet manufacturers mentioned the Evergreens green space as an innovative green space, and they did so in only one case.
In the other case, the carpet manufacturer mentioned the park in passing, and its impact on the environment was never mentioned.
And in that case, they found that just three of the eight carpet manufacturers participated in an initiative to promote the Evergaes green space.
The carpet manufacturers did mention that their green spaces can provide shade and moisture, but they never made the connection that these green spaces are being used to promote a sustainable design, and that’s a missed opportunity.
In their research, the researchers say they were able to trace the carpet makers’ marketing messages to the EverGreen forest because they were using the Everglades as a marketing point and because the Evergoes branding was being used as a logo to identify the carpet companies.
“The Evergreen forest is being marketed as an eco-friendly green space,” says Sarah-Jane Dickey, who is the lead researcher on the study.
“The forest is actually being used in a misleading way.”
The researchers found that there were no other examples of carpet manufacturers that actively promoted the forest as an environmentally friendly green space for their clients.
In other words, the only thing carpet makers mentioned about the Evergreens green space was that it’s green, and there’s a forest on the property.
The landscape architects who participated in this study were also not able to find a single instance where the designers used the forest for their own purposes.
Dickey and her team found that carpet manufacturers were more likely to highlight the forest and plant trees, and more likely than landscape architects to make reference to the Forest’s environmental impact.
In short, the landscape designers in this case did not have any positive impact on sustainability of the environment.
This is not the first time the researchers have found carpet manufacturers engaging in misleading marketing campaigns, and the researchers hope that their findings can be used to help consumers make better choices about the carpet they buy.
“It’s really important to remember that the landscape is a place for the design of things, and we should be focusing on that when we’re choosing the products we use,” says Dickey.
“When you see a carpet manufacturer using an environment that is a problem, you might not buy it, or at least you’re not going to buy it from that company.”
The study will be published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B next month.
Follow Allum Bokhari on Twitter and Google+.
Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+.
Original article on Live Science.