There is a saying in the world of environmental sustainability: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-in that order. What does that mean when it comes to replacing your countertops when you remodel your kitchen. Of course Formica countertops are oh, so passé. Corian has also gone out of fashionable favor. Formica is plastic coated with a resin made with formaldehyde and Corian is petroleum based. So, neither of these is very environmentally favorable. Granite is a “with it” alternative and it’s, well, natural, right? Natural yes, but questionable quarrying practices and the high energy costs of shipping such heavy material make granite a less than sustainable choice. So what’s a consumer to do? Here are some great alternative countertop choices that are both beautiful, and environmentally conscious.
Paperstone is one of my favorite eco-friendly countertops. Yes, it’s made from 100% post-consumer waste, recycled paper. It’s combined with proprietary, petroleum-free, phenolic resins that are non-toxic. It’s contemporary look and warm appearance is visually appealing. It’s heat resistant to 350 degrees, a higher rating than most countertops. It’s stronger than wood but shouldn’t be used as a chopping surface. It’s also very stain resistant. Check it out here.
Vetrazzo is the original recycled glass surface. Vetrazzo takes discarded glass like decommissioned traffic lights, windshields, used bottles and plate glass windows, mixes them all together and makes a delightful countertop that is a kalaidascope of color. It’s strong like granite, stain and heat resistant. Learn more at http://www.vetrazzo.com/
EnviroSLAB and EnviroMODE is another recycled glass product that also uses recycled porcelain-like from old tubs, sinks and toilets. Yes really. But it’s also beautiful, stain and heat resistant. This is a very cool new choice. Find out more .
Green Living Tip
Don’t just wait for politicians to solve the energy problem. Lowering your highway speed from 70 mph to 65 mph will lower your CO2 emissions and your gas price by 19 to 25 cents per gallon.
When you’re ready to buy or sell a home, call me, your going green real estate advisor.
Gayle Fleming, EcoBroker Certified