The first challenge in the adventure of my new apartment is the quandary of the wood floor. Unlike the main floor, which is a nice quartersawn oak, this upper floor is some sort of Southern pine. Wide board, very soft, tends to just flake off and cause horrendous slivers. The floor is quite uneven, and boards are also somewhat warbly. What are the possible courses of action?
The solution, find a renter who is suffering from handy(wo)man withdrawal syndrome, and just craving to do some work. Make sure this person has a strong sense of self-identify in her surroundings, and is wanting to put her personal imprint on the place – and voila – you have all the dedicated labor you need to rehab the current wood floor. A little horse-trading of labor for rent, and the deal is arranged.
Having resolved the economics, the next question is that of practicality, and durability. Practicality would dictate a quick coat of polyurethane, knowing that the rapid relative humidity changes in this climate would probably play havoc with the floor finish. But it would be done in a day or so. Still looking grungy, but shiningly so.
Is this the recommended solution in all cases? No, but the point of the story is that there are many perpectives of involved stakeholders, several "green" criteria to consider, and many options. "Greenness" is a result of choices made based on situations. This was our reality, and hence our solution.