Have you ever wondered what happens to all the materials you so diligently recycle? You do recycle right? In this time of seemingly endless droughts, catastrophic floods, and record breaking heat, we should all be doing our part to help the planet. Many homeowners make their houses more energy efficient during a remodeling project, as these improvements can lead to lower utility costs.
However, the materials purchased during a renovation can be just as important -- products that aren't manufactured in an environmentally responsible manner may be contributing to those dramatic climate changes. That's why I'm constantly on the lookout for new eco-friendly building products, and what could be greener than kitchen countertops made from recycled materials? Consider these three options from environmentally conscious companies for your kitchen remodeling project.
You now have the perfect excuse for all those wine and beer bottles in the recycling bin out at the curb -- they're contributions toward your new kitchen countertops. Vetrazzo gathers used glass bottles and jars and creates durable countertops in numerous designer colors. The tops are 100 percent recycled glass and can be used for a kitchen remodeling project or anywhere in your home where an eco-friendly countertop could complement your interior décor. Vetrazzo is located in Tate, Ga. and has showrooms and distributors across the country.
Where does recycled paper go? One place is to PaperStone, a company that uses paper to manufacture kitchen countertops and other building materials. The PaperStone combines the 100 percent recycled paper with resins to form a durable material that's extremely strong. The countertops have a non-porous surface and are resistant to stains and moisture damage. The end-product is so strong that a thinner top with a built-up edge can be used for your kitchen remodeling project -- an option that can be a little more budget-friendly than full-thickness tops. Their solid surface countertops are offered in nine colors. PaperStone is located in Washington state and suggests calling their main office to locate the dealer closest to your home.
If you want a truly unique eco-friendly countertop for your kitchen, look no further than Windfall Lumber in Tumwater, Wa. They use FSC-certified and reclaimed wood to make some of the most beautiful countertops I've ever seen -- of course, I'm partial to the look of natural wood. Many of their tops are made using the end grain of the lumber, which gives the surface the appearance of a patchwork quilt.
Studies show that eco-friendly remodeling and new construction isn't just a fad -- green homes are expected to comprise close to 38 percent of the residential market by 2016. Do your part by choosing one of these or the many other options offered by environmentally responsible countertop manufacturers.