Eco-Friendly Countertop Review
Eco-Friendly countertops have many different faces and we hope to break down what makes a product Eco-Friendly. Remember when choosing a countertop material, you will never find a product that has no impact on the environment. The main goal is to reduce the impact as much as possible.
So what are Eco-Friendly Countertops?
Green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources — energy, water, and materials — while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal — the complete building life cycle.
Be careful of Greenwashing – Greenwash is a term that is used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service. The term “Green Sheen” has similarly been used to describe organizations which attempt to appear that they are adopting practices beneficial to the environment.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Materials – What materials are used in production? Are they recycled or renewable? Where do they come from? Recycled and renewable resources are excellent choices.
- Manufacturing Process – The production of the countertop is vitally important. How much energy is consumed? Does the produce harmful gases or bi-products? How much water is used? The entire production process needs to be considered.
- Distance – How far away is the material produced? Within 500 miles or less would be considered optimal. Transportation consumes resources, fuel and contributes to air pollution. Choose local countertop materials whenever possible.
- VOCs – Does the product off-gas? At what rate does the product release VOCs (volatile organic compounds)? The health of the consumer is important. VOCs contribute the the overall health of the occupants.
- Lifespan – What is the expected lifespan of the countertop material? The longer it last, the better.
- Disposal – At the end of the product lifespan, how will it impact the environment. Can it be recycled? Can it be reused? Can the components be separated for recycling or returned to manufacturing.
Avonite – Made from reclaimed solid surface which contributes to our goal of zero waste from our manufacturing facility. Avonite’s Recycled collection has eight colors and are SCS certified, as well as NSF & FDA approved.
Alkemi – Considered a solid surface material, Alkemi can be sanded, routed and seamed like most other solid surface products. It is made with a post industrial scrap aluminum. Surfaces may sanded and buffed to a matte or high gloss.
Bio Glass – Bio Glass consists of 100% recycled glass. Bio-Glass colors depend on recycled components (hollow glass, tableware, and/or factory shards).
Craft-Art Company – Teragren Bamboo – Manufactured in China, Teragren is a joint U.S./Chinese firm. Following the established model, the factory is centered in the middle of a sustainable harvested bamboo forest. Reclaimed Wood – In addition to the Antique Heart Pine tops we have always made, we are now offering several reclaimed wood species that are listed to the left. The reclaimed species being offered at any given time are stocked at our facility, so lead times are the same as our regular wood species.
EcoTop – EcoTop is composed of a Forest Stewardship Council-certified 50/50 blend of bamboo fiber, a rapidly renewable resource, and recycled wood fiber salvaged from demolition sites. These materials are bound together by a water-based resin formula that is both petroleum-free and VOC-free.
Endura Wood Products – Endurawood builds wooden countertops from templating to finishing. Endurawood supplies FSC certified, NW regional, reclaimed wood for any countertop need.
EnviroGlas – EnviroGLAS Terrazzo is made of post-consumer and post-industrial recycled glass. It is combined with a thin set epoxy binder and is a 100% solid formula, with absolutely no Volatile Organic Compounds and negligible emissions.
GEOS – GEOS is made from post consumer and industrial glass combined with a polymer bonder to create a non-porous countertop material that does not require sealing.
IceStone – IceStone surfaces are made with 100% recycled glass in a cement matrix.
LG HI-MACS – LG developed 6 solid surface colors all developed using at least 12 percent pre-consumer recycled materials.
Lithistone – Materials are combined to create our proprietary mixes, which consist of a natural mineral binder, different grades of sand and stone, recycled material, and organic mineral pigments.
PaperStone – It is manufactured in three versions. Original PaperStone contains 50% post-consumer recycled content and PaperStone Certified is made from 100% recycled materials. PaperStone made from virgin fiber is also available. All PaperStone products are made from Paneltech’s proprietary, petroleum-free resin that contains natural ingredients like cashew nut shell liquid.
Richlite – Richlite® is made primarily of paper purchased from managed forests throughout North America. The paper is treated with resin then pressed and baked to create solid sheets.
Shetkastone – Shetkastone is a revolutionary product that has a 100% sustainable life cycle. Products that are produced from shetkaSTONE are manufactured from pre and post consumer waste paper. All by-products can be recycled back into the manufacturing process.
Squak Mountain Stone – A Fibrous-cement material comprised of recycled paper, recycled glass, coal fly-ash and low-carbon cement. Material is hand-cast into “slabs” as an alternative to natural or quarried stone. Resembles soapstone or limestones.
Vetrazzo – Vetrazzo® is composed of a proprietary formula that combines recycled glass with cement, additives and pigments. All of the glass used in Vetrazzo is recycled, and it makes up about 85% of the total material. Most of the glass comes from curbside recycling programs.