At approximately 3 a.m. Nov. 16, independent media makers from Digital Smoke Signals spotted a horizontal drill at the highly militarized drill site next to the Missouri River.
This sighting comes two days after the Army Corps statement made on Nov. 14. The Army Corps alerted Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that "Construction on, or under the corps land bordering Lake Oahe cannot occur because the Army has not made a final decision on where to grant an easement."
The following day, Nov. 15, a Unicorn Riot reporter spotted construction continuing despite the statement from the Army Corps.
Dakota Access Pipeline excavator seen digging this afternoon, visible across the river from Sacred Stone Camp.… https://t.co/TGDh6qDzqH— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot) 1479262025.0
The response from Dakota Access was to sue the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Army Corps of Engineers claiming all permits were granted. Despite the Army Corps statement that DAPL construction "cannot" continue, Dakota Access has moved in a horizontal drill and prepares to bore under the Missouri River at their highly fortified drill site.
Dakota Access builds militarized construction site w/ hesco walls & razor wire to protect oil pipeline from water protectors. #NoDAPL pic.twitter.com/TembKYZXfW
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) November 11, 2016
Water protectors continue to gather in prayerful resistance at Oceti Sakowin against the Dakota Access Pipeline and prepare for the first winter storm of the season.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Unicorn Riot.
As water protectors dig in for the winter near construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), many rumors have been circulating about whether DAPL was in fact going to halt construction, as had been requested by the Department of Justice and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in September.
Many claims have been made that the Army Corps of Engineers, in negotiations with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, had ordered a 30-day pause on DAPL construction. As we reported on Sunday, the Army Corps has in fact clarified that the 30-day halt was "only a proposal" and no work stoppage has been implemented.
On Nov. 7, Unicorn Riot documented active DAPL construction that could be seen from the main Oceti Sakowin encampment.
Morning of Monday November 7th, Dakota Access Pipeline excavators & bulldozers can be seen working from the Oceti S… https://t.co/UqkBe2UAQh— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot) 1478539575.0
The afternoon of Nov. 8, as the U.S. presidential election was well underway, Dakota Access, LLC released a statement denying recent claims from the Army Corps of Engineers that they had agreed to a slowdown in pipeline construction.
Dakota Access also claims a public statement made by the Army Corps was "a mistake and the Army Corps intends to rescind it."
Dakota Access, LLC had previously made a statement announcing that eviction would take place of the Oceti Sakowin 1851 treaty camp which had been set up directly in the path of the pipeline.
The appearance of Dakota Access making public statements which accurately predicted police actions was denounced in an article by Sarah Lazare at Alternet as "clear evidence" of "outrageous militarized police collusion with Big Oil."
The statement by Dakota Access, LLC goes on to claim that they have "completed construction of the pipeline on each side of Lake Oahe" and states that they are "currently mobilizing horizontal drilling equipment to the drill box site."
Below you can see drone footage of Dakota Access machines building Hesco barriers, normally used to protect U.S. military bases in war zones like Iraq or Afghanistan, to protect an area believed to be the drill box site from water protectors.
According to the release, Dakota Access expects to have fully mobilized all equipment needed to drill under the Missouri River within 2 weeks. Once all the equipment is in place at the construction site, Dakota Access plans to immediately commence horizontal drilling underneath the river.
Dakota Access, LLC closes their statement by admitting their company is still waiting on two construction permits from the Army Corps of Engineers to start the process of drilling underneath the Missouri River.
Below is the full public statement by Dakota Access, LLC.
The Dakota Access, LLC statement is reported to be in response to a comment given to Bloomberg News on Monday, in which an Army Corps of Engineers spokesman claimed that DAPL had agreed to slow down construction.
In an interview with NowThis on Nov. 2, when asked about the Dakota Access Pipeline, President Obama said "We're gonna let it play out for several more weeks."
Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine mentioned in a recent interview the possibility of re-routing the pipeline, which Dakota Access now seems to have repudiated as a possible outcome. DAPL spokeswoman Vicki Granado told the Guardian:
"We are not aware that any consideration is being given to a reroute, and we remain confident we will receive our easement in a timely fashion."
—Vicki Granado, DAPL spokesperson
Jan Hasselman, attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, reacted to DAPL's plan to openly pursue drilling:
"Starting construction without permits would be beyond the pale, even for Dakota Access. It is deeply irresponsible to keep putting investors' money into this route when both the President and Senator Tim Kaine are openly discussing rerouting away from Lake Oahe."
—Jan Hasselman, Attorney
Tuesday's comments from Dakota Access appear intended to reassure investors who may be starting to have doubts about funding the pipeline project. It was reported earlier this week that Norweigan bank DNB was considering withdrawing its loan of $342.36 million to Energy Transfer Partners—almost 10 percent of the total funding for the pipeline.
DNB issued a statement on their website expressing concern:
"DNB is concerned about how the situation surrounding the oil pipeline in North Dakota has developed. The bank will therefore use its position as lender to the project to encourage a more constructive process to find solutions to the conflict that has arisen. If these initiatives do not provide DNB with the necessary comfort, DNB will evaluate its further participation in the financing of the project."
Norway's Biggest Bank Is 'Reconsidering Its Participation' in Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline https://t.co/5ijtkYHfoN @KXLBlockade— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) 1478643318.0
On Tuesday, it was announced that the North Dakota Public Service Commission has proposed fining Dakota Access, LLC $15,000 for failing to properly notify state agencies of ancient cultural artifacts discovered at pipeline work sites. Dakota Access is alleged to have violated the terms of its permits by not properly announcing artifact discoveries, as well as by changing the pipeline route without seeking the permission of the Public Service Commission.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Unicorn Riot.
Rugs add a cozy aesthetic to the home, but they can also contribute to toxin exposure if you’re not careful when shopping around. How do you find the best sustainable rugs in a world where almost everything is mass produced with questionable chemicals involved?
There is a lot to consider in the search for a nontoxic rug you hope was ethically made. That’s especially true in a time where we are reevaluating our environmental impact every day. We rounded up four of the best sustainable rugs for any area of your home, from your living room to your outdoor space. Read on to learn more.
Best Sustainable Rugs: Our Recommendations
- Best Overall: Safavieh Handmade Flatweave Jute Area Rug
- Best Cotton Rug: Lorena Canals Washable Rug
- Best Runner: Chardin Home Runner Rug
- Best Outdoor Rug: Fab Habitat Recycled Plastic Outdoor Rug
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. Learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission.
Why Switch to a Sustainable, Nontoxic Rug?
Many people want to secure an area rug in the most affordable, fastest and easiest way. However, that often leaves your choices limited to rugs that are most likely not sustainably or ethically made.
Most ordinary new rugs and carpets contain harmful chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. They can off-gas for up to five years, emitting VOCs in your home and causing short- and long-term health issues including headaches, dizziness, liver and kidney damage, and even cancer in animals and humans. An eco-friendly rug choice avoids these adverse health effects.
You may also wonder why you need a special cleaner filled with questionable chemicals for a rug. In some ways, you end up spending more money over time on a synthetic rug that ends up in the landfill.
By choosing home decor products made from sustainable materials, you can make a positive impact and promote a kinder and healthier planet.
Full Reviews of Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Safavieh Handmade Flatweave Jute Area Rug
Safavieh is a trusted name in natural rug making that has been around for over 100 years. Its handmade flatweave jute rug collection contains size and shape options ranging from 3-by-5-foot area rugs to 5-by-6-foot ovals to 9-by-12-foot runners. The rug is handwoven, and the beige color and traditional weave of sustainably-harvested sisal and seagrass make it a classic option for any space.
Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 600 Amazon ratings
Standout Review: “These rugs are absolutely awesome… They're both easy on the eyes and the feet. We have a round one in the entryway and an oval one at the bottom of the stairs… They are easy to vacuum and sweep, combining pleasing aesthetics with functionality and durability.” — Alison via Amazon
Why Buy: Safavieh is known for its high-quality yet affordable products. The flatweave jute rug is beautifully handwoven and provides a classic, minimalist look to any area of the home.
Best Cotton Rug: Lorena Canals Washable Rug
Lorena Canals’ washable cotton rugs are made with a base of 97% recycled cotton and use only natural dyes in the coloring process. They’re handcrafted by artisans in India and can give a warm yet modern touch to your home. This particular rug measures just over 5.5 by 8 feet, but there are other size options available.
The company’s RugCycled program utilizes textile leftovers from the production of its cotton and wool rugs, helping Lorena Canals’ overall process become less wasteful. Plus, every purchase helps a child in North India attend school.
Customer Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars with under 10 Amazon ratings
Standout Review: “Taking 1 star away because by no means it can be washed in a regular washer machine… Now do I like this rug? I LOVE IT! It is worth the trip to the laundromat.” — Ann via Amazon
Why Buy: If you’re looking for something you can throw in the wash after a spill or accident, this is one of the best sustainable rugs to consider.
Best Runner: Chardin Home Runner Rug
Chardin Home collects cotton rags from different factories and upcycles them into multicolor rugs. No two rugs are exactly the same, though the company makes every effort to best match them if you buy more than one of the same kind. The most popular size is this 2-by-7-foot, but the rug options span from 2-by-5 feet to up to 8-by-10 feet. The rugs are also reversible and long-lasting.
Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with almost 1,500 Amazon ratings
Standout Review: “With this rug, suddenly everything goes together beautifully! … I have an 8-year-old, two dogs (5 pounds and 40 pounds), and a cat. I’ve had this rug for a bit, and it has held up so well.” — Lauren W. via Amazon
Why Buy: This affordable, colorful runner is reversible and withstands your pets while being healthy for them. It’s one of the best sustainable rugs for narrow spaces.
Best Outdoor Rug: Fab Habitat Recycled Plastic Outdoor Rug
Made from recycled plastic straws, this rug by Fab Habitat is perfect for outdoor spaces. Some people also use these indoors (I personally use an outdoor rug under my bed). The rug is fade-resistant and stain-deterrent. The material also means the rug will never be threatened by moisture.
This 5-by-8-foot rug comes in several eclectic and oceanically-colorful designs from jodhpur blue to monochromatic teal and a more practical blue. At an affordable price, it helps save both the planet and your purse.
Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 1,100 Amazon ratings
Standout Review: “This rug lives up to its reputation. We just moved to Florida, and it rains almost daily since we got here. This rug doesn’t hold water, and it feels smooth under your feet.” — Katelyn via Amazon
Why Buy: The U.S. city-by-city ban on plastic straws started around 2018, but they still overtake landfills and take ages to decompose. A recycled plastic straw rug helps provide one solution to this while being stylish, stain-deterrent, fade-resistant and easy to clean. Just shake it out and hose it down.
How to Choose the Best Sustainable Rug
There are a few factors to consider when purchasing the best sustainable rug for your home:
- Natural fibers: What material is the rug made out of? When looking for nontoxic rugs, choose natural fibers like organic cotton, jute, wool and sisal. Agave sisalana is the botanical name for sisal, which is native to southern Mexico. Many fruit plants also make cozy natural textile materials in place of genetically modified cotton.
- Material harvesting and manufacturing: Was the material ethically harvested? Was the rug sustainably made? Is it an ethically made rug? Was the rug treated with any chemicals?
- Cost: A handmade rug understandably costs more than a mass-produced one. However, you should also shop around and stay within budget.
- Style: Many natural fiber and sustainable rugs are varied and unique in design. Have a look in mind when shopping for an organic rug to ensure you will be happy with the aesthetic.
Note that some natural fibers, like jute, can shed and may tend to unravel lightly in some areas over time. That’s the nature of the material.
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Nontoxic Rugs
How do you know if a rug is toxic?
A rug’s surface can consist of natural fibers. However, many don’t consider that the rug's backing and underlay padding could contain toxic materials. All parts of the rug should be produced with natural materials. Unfortunately, you may also find hidden toxins in the form of formaldehyde, stain deterrent treatments and flame retardants on the surface of the rug.
Are jute rugs environmentally friendly?
Yes, jute rugs can be very environmentally friendly. Jute is a sturdy natural fiber that many consider to be one of the most eco-conscious materials out there. Jute comes from a tropical plant and is both recyclable and biodegradable. Jute fibers are spun into durable threads to create such products as twine, mats and rugs.
Are handwoven rugs ethical and sustainable?
It is ethical to purchase from a craftsperson who used their skills and traditional practices to thoughtfully make a beautiful and sustainable rug. However, many products that are labeled “sustainable” can still be produced unethically and illegally via child labor and human rights violations. A good resource to check is Amnesty.org, which recently discovered human rights violations by larger U.S. companies in the production of “sustainable” palm oil.
Research each product and manufacturer across various platforms, always checking reviews and non-biased news sources. Where possible, purchase ethical rugs from craftspeople directly. Local maker collectives and arts organizations are great places to start.
How do you clean a natural fiber rug?
Drenching a natural fiber rug with wet shampoo or steam can cause damage and discoloration. Spot-clean natural fiber rugs with a mild detergent, or use club soda for acidic stains.
Routinely sweep or vacuum your rugs lightly, using a rug beater as appropriate. You can also buy a dry cleaning powder that is compatible with natural fiber rugs. Simply sprinkle this powder on the rug and vacuum it up. Take more heavily soiled rugs to a green dry cleaner if care instructions allow.
With fair labor practices and ethical standards in place, a rug made of natural fibers is a much more eco-friendly option than a rug made with toxic chemicals. Be wary of companies that greenwash their marketing with sustainability claims they fail to deliver on.
Where possible, consider handcrafted rugs when shopping for a rug for your home. It’s much easier to verify sustainability, and you support a talented individual and the local economy with your purchase.
Since last Thursday's violent police raid, which established a militarized zone around Dakota Access Pipeline construction areas, the Morton County Sheriff and supporting agencies have fanned out into the area surrounding the Oceti Sakowin camp.
Groups of police vehicles have parked in several areas to monitor the activity at the camp. One such area is a hill behind the main resistance camp, directly across part of the Cannonball river, known as Cantapeta Creek.
The original people of the area describe this hill as a sacred site, one that contains ancient burial grounds, which police are desecrating by parking their vehicles on it.
On Wednesday morning, a group of water protectors attempted to cross the Cannonball to establish a prayer camp on the sacred hill near Cantapeta Creek. They built a wooden footbridge so that people could cross the water.
Law enforcement responded to the footbridge by firing less-lethal projectiles at people attempting to cross. SWAT officers in a boat tore the footbridge away with rope.
NEW VIDEO: Police used chemical weapons & fired less-lethal rounds at unarmed #NoDAPL water protectors. Triage over… https://t.co/kGtzHj9ZO5— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot) 1478130487.0
Several people, including a journalist, said they were shot in the back by police with less-lethal rounds at point blank range.
I was just shot. Militarized police fired at me from pointblank range with a rubber bullet at #StandingRock.… https://t.co/RvSqhrLezv— Erin Schrode (@Erin Schrode) 1478120025.0
Medics reported that some of these individuals were coughing up blood from internal bleeding.
After the footbridge was broken up by police, people remained in the water on the shore of the sacred site.
Morton County Sheriff, North Dakota Highway Patrol and unidentified out-of-state law enforcement personnel repeatedly used chemical weapons (pepper spray, OC gas and what we believe was a concussion grenade) on the water protectors who simply stayed standing or sitting in the river.
More chemical weapons deployed directly into the Cannonball river by North Dakota law enforcement protecting DAPL l… https://t.co/IkeupZ4tZn— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot) 1478122641.0
A boat with several heavily armed SWAT officers repeatedly tried to maneuver behind the group of water protectors near the shore. Water protectors used logs and rope to prevent their advance, and ferried people and supplies back and forth across the water using rope lines attached to canoes.
SWAT in boats, unknown out-of-state police & chemical weapons deployed against #NoDAPL water protectors swimming ac… https://t.co/ERDAsA5Dff— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot) 1478122229.0
Law enforcement who were occupying the sacred site repeatedly threatened water protectors with arrest and said that the Army Corps of Engineers had authorized them to make arrests on Army Corps land.
Unicorn Riot has reached out to both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Justice to confirm or deny this claim by Morton County and as of yet have received no answer.
Eventually, all the water protectors returned to the Oceti Sakowin camp side of the river without arrest. One person was later reported to have been arrested on conspiracy charges for transporting canoes around the time of the river crossing.
After all water protectors had left the river, drummers led many back to camp while others stayed behind to re-gath… https://t.co/6jrhVKeMbk— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot) 1478119199.0
On Tuesday, when asked about the Dakota Access Pipeline, President Obama said in an interview with Now This, that, "We're gonna let it play out for several more few weeks" and mentioned that the Army Corps of Engineers may consider re-routing the pipeline.
[email protected] Calls 4 Stopping #DakotaAccessPipeline as #Obama Waffles https://t.co/qyNZgZlyZY @billmckibben @350 @IENearth @greenpeaceusa— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) 1478114184.0
In the meantime, the Dakota Access Pipeline continues to aggressively build, guarded by large force of private mercenaries as well as local and state police, including dozens from surrounding states.
On Tuesday, an emergency commission met in the office of North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple and voted to borrow an additional $4 million to fund law enforcement deployments to protect the Dakota Access Pipeline against water protectors, saying that the original $6 million in funding had run out. This brings the total line of credit extended to the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services to $10 million. Officials say at least $8 million in costs have been incurred so far.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Unicorn Riot.