Oct 152014

Sustainable cabinets for kitchens and bathrooms.

Sustainable kitchen cabinets

Standard homes are fitted with kitchen and bathroom cabinetry that can contain high levels of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are a wide variety of chemicals that are emitted as a gas from almost every gas or liquid product that humans manufacture synthetically and use in homes. Examples are paints, solvents, varnishes, waxes and glues.

This is why the EPA warns that VOCs trapped inside homes can cause short and long term damage to the health of humans as well as cancer.

Formaldehyde is also a VOC. It is a colorless pungent smelling gas that is emitted from permanent indoor building products like flooring, shelving, cabinetry and counter tops and the glues that hold them together. Formaldehyde is a cancer causing suspect for humans and animals. It is also associated with respiratory problems and allergic reactions, especially in new homes that are hot and poorly ventilated.

Green homes avoid these health problems as their bathroom or kitchen cabinetry is not manufactured from materials that contain formaldehyde or VOCs. To know if formaldehyde and other VOCs emit from products produced by a cabinet manufacturer, consumers look for 3rd party certified seal of approval.

One such certifier is the California Air Resources Board, or CARB. Manufacturers who seek their seal of approval for their hard, composite, particle, fiber or plywood or veneer products must provide documentation proving that their materials meet specific criteria:

  • Material emission levels
  • Material manufacturer identification
  • Archived material purchase and sale documentation
  • Compliance notifications to material suppliers

Standard homes are also mostly fitted with bathroom cabinetry that is manufactured from unsustainably produced wood products. Wood products are considered unsustainable if they are sourced from trees that cannot be re-grown in a reasonable amount of time.

Also included, are those that are harvested far from consumers, thus requiring a large amount of energy to deliver to a manufacturer or building site.

The cabinetry in green homes are manufactured only from sustainably sourced materials. An example of sustainably sourced material would be Appalachian Mountains hardwood timber, where more trees are planted than are harvested every year.

Green cabinets seal

Standard homes are also fitted with cabinetry materials that have been harvested or manufactured in other countries. This results in large amounts of transportation energy and labor that has to be expended to get them to their customers.

The materials for the cabinetry in green homes will typically have been sourced locally and have been transported less than 500 miles to market and by local vendors only.

3rd party certified confirmations that timber materials used by manufacturers are also available to aid consumers who want to make responsible choices to help protect our planet. One such certification can be earned by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, who created the Environmental Stewardship Program, or ESP. Their seal of approval is awarded to products that meet the following criteria:

  • Low level of formaldehyde
  • Recycled content
  • Proof of purchase from a sustainable forest
  • Manufacturing waste recycling

LEED for homesA green home rating can be awarded for the degrees in which all of the above has been achieved by builders of green homes. One such rater is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Ratings from this organization and certifications from the others listed above all help consumers to make green home choices that will benefit both their and their family’s health, as well as the health of our planet.

Sustainable cabinets and counter tops can be seen in our green home models.
Please contact us if you would like to be directed  you to our nearest model where you will be able to see, touch and feel this green feature.

Click here now to find your Florida Green Home or to request more information.

Our services are always FREE to Buyers, and we contribute $500 towards closing costs if you buy through us, as well as $250 toward our Switch to Green, Switch it Forward Fund, to help fight poverty and climate change.

Let us show you how we can be Your Green Dream Team to help you to Live in a High Performance Green Home, that will Save You Money and help you to Pay Your Mortgage Off Years Earlier, while at the same time, live in a home that is Healthier, More Comfortable, Safer and Kinder To The Earth.

Thank you for visiting. Please leave a comment below and then check out the rest of our BLOG. We look forward to making Green Home living your reality.

Marius J Smook – Licensed Real Estate Eco-Broker, LEED AP for HOMES, Home Energy Rater.

 October 15, 2014

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