When we think about going green, our society has adapted to the thought of saving money, rather than the original purpose, which is to take care of our planet. Sure, you could save money with low flow faucets, and you could save money with water-saving toilets. The money that you save with solar panels is surely worth the cost. Although these things save you money, and also save the environment, we have to remember to use materials that are also Eco-friendly and help sustain our environment. These might not generally cost less money, but they don’t necessarily cost any more money than non-Eco-friendly options.
When doing a kitchen remodeling project, there are plenty of areas to focus on going green with Eco-friendly products. We’re not just talking about saving energy, but we’re talking about using products made from sustainable materials, which can often be reused in future projects, time and time again.
Just a few examples are your kitchen hood, the kitchen flooring, and your kitchen countertops. Cabinetry can be made of all different kinds of classic woods. When remodeling your kitchen, woods such as: hickory, birch, mahogany, pine, cherry, maple, and oak are all optimal choices. However, if you’re going green, while renovating, make sure that the wood you look for is FSC certified. The Forrest Stewardship Council certifies wood that is used to make kitchen cabinets by insuring that it comes from trees that have been grown in a sustainable method. An example is bamboo. Both beautiful and durable, bamboo is a popular choice for cabinets, and is also fast-growing and harvested well. Bamboo has become very trendy in today’s kitchens.
Another way of going green in the kitchen, specifically with cabinets, is by using reclaimed wood. To get your hands on reclaimed wood, locate trees that have already fallen or see if there are any active construction projects in your area, or trees being removed from other people’s yards. You can also use wood from buildings which have been demoed. Just talk to the owner of the project, and see if you can strike up a deal.
Countertops are all the rage right now. Just like cabinets, when remodeling a kitchen, countertops come in a wide variety of materials. Granite is the most popular, but there’s also quartz, concrete, stainless steel, tile, and laminate. Did you know that you can go green with your countertops? Terrazzo is made of more than 90% recycled material. These countertops are made of recycled crushed stone and glass, are held together by cement, and are later smoothed and buffed. It’s very strong, and as many colors of glass exist, so does Terrazzo.
A great stone-like countertop that is also heat-resistant and rather durable is called Paperstone. Paperstone is made from paper fibers and a hard resin. Similar to Terrazzo, it’s available in a wide variety of colors.
Remember those bamboo countertops? Bamboo can be used again, but this time for the flooring. Most people consider bamboo to be one the greenest options for flooring, when thinking about remodeling their kitchen. However, there are other choices when it comes to Eco-friendly flooring. For example, recycled rubber tiles, which are quite easy on the feet. Linoleum is a great choice, and it’s usually made from cork, flower, and oil, which are all-natural products.
Ceramic tiles are classic. They don’t absorb gaseous pollutants like vinyl does, nor do they give off the same pollutants. Tile manufacturers typically use a “closed loop” system. This system requires that these manufacturers recycle the raw materials back in to the process
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