If you've decided that there might be something to the locavore thing, wouldn't it make sense to practice the same ideas when it comes to building products? North America is fairly rich in wood resources, which means it's usually possible to get flooring material from not too far away. An added bonus: you'll end up with something that's a lot more interesting than the usual oak or cherry... Our favorite Pacific Northwest resource is Green Mountain Woodworks. They mill madrone, a tree common to the Northwest, which was originally planted for paper pulp. It has a gorgeous coloration with variations from deep purples to pinks to oranges to rich browns, and it's slightly harder than red oak, so it's a durable choice for a floor.
Another unique Northwest wood is Oregon Myrtle (or California Bay Laurel, depending on which side of the border you're on.) Finished with oil or wax, Myrtle simply glows.
So when you're shopping for flooring, call a few stores and see what local species you might add to your list. And we'd love to know what is your favorite local wood...
images via Green Mountain Woodworks website