Thursday, May 17, 2007

Eco-friendly Kitchen Counters

I put a link to a new notebook I'm building -- "Eco-friendly Kitchen Counters". There are a few links within the notebook to sources for recycled glass, end-grain bamboo, recycled paper, sustainable wood and reecycled aluminum.

Recycled glass counters are made from colorful recycled glass mixed into a cement, concrete, or resin base. Counters can be integrally colored or stained for more variation and color coordination with cabinetry or painted surfaces. It's green because it diverts used glass from the waste stream. The cement in some counters is mixed with fly ash, a waste product of coal-burning that would otherwise end up in landfills; this reduces greenhouse gas-producing cement manufacturing.

End-grain bamboo counters are basically chopping blocks made of slender rectangles of end-grain bamboo glued into panels. It's a substitute for wood because its fast growth makes it more renewable. Low off-gassing glues don't harm indoor air quality.

Recycled paper counters are made with recycled paper in a resin base and are available in a variety of thicknesses and colors. They're heat and stain resistant. They're considered green because they use postconsumer recycled paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Counsel, and nonpetroleum, formaldehyde-free resins.

Sustainable wood counters are butcher-block counters, some from reclaimed or recycled lumber, others from sustainably harvested tree species. These are considered green because using reclaimed wood reduces the need for harvesting new trees. Moreover, recycled old-growth lumber often has tighter grain and better quality.

Some recycled aluminum counters are made from postindustrial scrap aluminum in polymeric resin. These are considered green because, not only do they utilize scrap, they can be recycled at the end of their useful life.

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