kitchen design with stainless steel
Going green doesn’t have to be an expensive or tasteless effort. You can renovate your kitchen space while saving the environment. Lessening your carbon footprint on the world is a conscious decision that you have the right to honor. Thousands of other homeowners are already dedicated to the cause and are transforming their homes into eco-friendly havens. However, if you are new to the green movement, you may be wondering what type of options you have for your kitchen countertops. Lucky for you, there are many different options to select from.

There are a lot more construction companies and architects that are converting to sustainable design and building. With that said, you should have no problem finding a reputable contractor to install your eco-friendly countertop. Environmentally-friendly materials isn’t a simple task, so we’ve done the work for you.

To make your search for green materials easier, you can also rely on the approval or certification of industry-independent organizations. These are extended to products that meet their guidelines for sustainability. The following certifications are provided to countertops that are considered eco-friendly:

• GreenGuard: This certifies products using for building infrastructures. It is given to products that has low chemical emissions, which ensures high indoor air quality levels. No indoor air pollution from these materials!
• Cradle to Cradle: This certifies products that are safe for people and the earth. It also means the materials usedhave a long life cycle.
• Forest Stewardship Council: This certifies wooden products that were responsibly harvested from forests.

The eco-friendly materials you can buy for your countertop can be recycled, salvaged or certified. The following materials were given the “green” light for eco-friendly kitchens.

Salvaged Wood

This is a great look for kitchens that have a homely feel, like those with farmhouse décor. The richness of wood adds warmth to your cooking space. Combine this with wooden cabinetry and you have yourself a heartfelt kitchen. Just keep in mind that wood is more prone to water and heat damage, so consider not using it near the sink, range or dishwasher. This is also why a lot of people opt to use wooden materials for their kitchen island.

Butcher Block

This is another wooden piece that’s typically used for kitchen islands. The look of butcher blocks is a bit different. It is composed of smaller wood pieces, usually from diverse sources like shipping pallets and deconstructed buildings. The great thing about this surface is that it is great for chopping fruits and veggies. Then to keep it looking like new, all you have to do is sand the wood and refinish it using a food-grade natural oil.

Bamboo

We’re on a roll with the wooden options – here’s another one for you that is just as eco-friendly. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, so it’s not at risk of becoming extinct. The reason for bamboo’s popularity is due to its strength and durability, compared to other hardwoods. There are a variety of producers of bamboo. So be mindful of this when selecting your bamboo countertop.

Recycled Paper

This would also classify under wood, but offers a more unique look. It’s beautiful monolithic appearance adds warmth to the kitchen. It looks like a soft stone like soapstone. Be wary that it can only sustain heat up to 350 degrees, so be mindful of where you place your hot pots and pans.

Recycled Glass

There are various brands that specialize in constructing kitchen countertops with recycled glass. These slabs offer an opaque, refined character that is unique, yet appealing. Since the material is porous, you’ll need to seal it twice annually to upkeep its appearance and durability.

Bio-Glass

This material is Cradle to Cradle certified. It’s definitely a great addition to a kitchen with plentiful of natural light. Because of its glass makeup, you need to be wary of knives. Use cutting boards when chopping up foods to prevent scratches and chips.

Resin

This counter is made with recycled-content resin-based materials. There are numerous brands that use a variety of colors, patterns and finishes. Try finding a manufacturer that uses zero waste and is carbon neutral.

Stainless Steel

Still one of the most sought-after materials for kitchens, both eco-friendly and not. You can find stainless steel counters, which gives it an extended useful life. As you may already know, stainless steel is very durable and easy on the eyes. Kitchens uses it commonly because of its cleanliness. The only issues you have to worry about are smudges, watermarks and scratches.

Concrete

It’s best to go for concrete slab – this way transport uses less energy the countertop. You can also look for low-impact aggregates like recycled paper or glass and increased coal fly ash.

Glass, Paper and Cement

You can find handsome countertops with natural irregularities like mixed stones made with a combination of recycled glass, paper and cement. Together, this creates a durable countertop. Make sure to give it extra care or embrace the patina.

If you’re into granite and marble countertops, you can search around for brands that use recycled materials and other eco-friendly solutions to construct and transport the slab. Deciding to go green is a big step, but it’s not impossible or too expensive to achieve.