10 Green Countertops


1
Concrete
Concrete's reusability factor gives it extra green points. iStock/Thinkstock

Concrete is a mix of water, cement and usually something like sand. The cement is what raises the eyebrows of environmentally conscientious people. Making and distributing cement is very energy intensive: Global cement production accounts for anywhere from 2.5 to 8 percent of man-made carbon dioxide released in the air [source: U.S. Building Council's Green Home Guide].

The good news for concrete is that cement is only a small percent, around 12 percent, of concrete countertops, and fly ash can actually be used in its place. In the concrete-forming process, fly ash becomes an inert substance, so it won't emit VOCs or other toxins into the air. Another positive for concrete is that using a sealant to protect the surface will not create any offgas effects; it just increases your counter's durability.

Speaking of durability, when the concrete countertop's life span is over, it is very easy to use it again. The material can be crushed, cut up into pieces or reused as whole slabs. This is an excellent benefit because it eliminates the need to produce new concrete.

Related Articles

Sources

  • CalFinder Nation-Wide Remodelers. "Glass Kitchen Countertops." (Dec. 21, 2010) http://www.calfinder.com/library/kitchen/countertops/glass-countertops
  • Chiras, Dan. "Eco-Friendly Tile." Mother Earth News. February/March 2009. Issue 232. P96-101. (Dec. 17, 2010) http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/environmentally-friendly-recycled-tile-zmaz09fmzraw.aspx
  • Countertop Specialty. "Granite Counter Top Do's & Don'ts." (Dec. 16, 2010) http://www.countertopspecialty.com/granite-counter-top-care.html
  • Dwell. "Bamboo." (Jan. 25, 2014) http://www.dwell.com/furniture-and-products/bamboo
  • The Eco Market. "Eco Friendly Countertops." (Dec. 16, 2010) http://www.the-eco-market.com/eco-friendly-countertops.html
  • Getwithgreen.com. "Countertops: 12 materials to choose from . . . which are eco-friendly?" July 21, 2007. (Dec. 16, 2010) http://www.getwithgreen.com/2007/07/21/countertops-12-materials-to-choose-fromwhich-are-eco-friendly/
  • Green-living-made-easy.com. "Eco Friendly Countertops." (Dec. 16, 2010) http://www.green-living-made-easy.com/eco-friendly-countertops.html
  • Greenandsave.com. "Kitchen Recycled Plastic Countertops." (Dec. 28, 2010) http://www.greenandsave.com/articles/remodeling_amp_improvement/kitchen_countertops_and_backsplashes/kitchen_recycled_plastic_co
  • Kraeulter, Tom. "Green Kitchen Countertops: Environmentally-friendly Options." Feb. 17, 2009. (Dec. 16, 2010) http://moneypit.com/article/green-kitchen-countertops-environmentally-friendly-options
  • Lambert, David. "Bamboo Countertops." Dec. 12, 2010. (Dec. 16, 2010) http://goarticles.com/article/Bamboo-Coutnertops/3834741/print
  • Maxwell, Steve. "Can You Tell Me the Pros and Cons of Concrete Countertops?" Mother Earth News. April 1, 2009. (Dec. 15, 2010) http://www.motherearthnews.com/ask-our-experts/pros-and-cons-of-concrete-countertops.aspx
  • Metro. "What is post-consumer recycled content?" (Dec. 19, 2010) http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=3369
  • Miller, Stephanie. "Clean Air: Low-VOC Caulks, sealants and adhesives Aare Gaining Acceptance Among Contractors." Jan. 1, 2004. (Dec. 21, 2010) http://www.allbusiness.com/construction/construction-buildings-residential/743156-1.html
  • NAHB Research Center. Toolbase.org. "Low- or No-VOC Paints, Finishes and Adhesives." (Dec. 21, 2010) http://www.toolbase.org/Technology-Inventory/Interior-Partitions-Ceilings/low-voc-paints
  • NCAT.org. "Green Tree Principles Components." (Dec. 19, 2010) http://www.ncat.org/greentree/recycled_1.html
  • Salant, Katherine. "How to Go Green When Choosing Countertops." The Washington Post. Nov. 21, 2009. (Dec. 14, 2010) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/19/AR2009111904746.html?loc=interstitialskip
  • Stewart, Rhonda. "Strong as steel and environmentally sound, bamboo is branching out." The Boston Globe. Feb. 17, 2005 (Jan. 25, 2014) http://www.boston.com/yourlife/home/articles/2005/02/17/strong_as_steel_and_environmentally_sound_bamboo_is_branching_out/?page=full
  • Sustainable Development Indicator Group. "1.2.6 Non-Renewable Resources." June 4, 1996. (Dec. 19, 2010) http://www.hq.nasa.gov/iwgsdi/Non_Renew_Resources.html
  • USA Today. "Laminate Countertops Can Green Kitchens." Nov. 23, 2009. (Dec. 14, 2010) http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2009/11/laminate-countertops-can-green-kitchens/1
  • U.S. Green Building Council's Green Home Guide. "Choose the Best Countertop Material for Your Home and the Environment." Sept. 3, 2009. (Dec. 16, 2010) http://greenhomeguide.com/know-how/article/choose-the-best-countertop-material-for-your-homeand-the-environment
  • U.S. Green Building Council's Green Home Guide. "Buyer's Guide to Green Countertop Materials." Sept. 4, 2009. (Dec. 14, 2010) http://greenhomeguide.com/know-how/article/buyers-guide-to-green-countertop-materials
  • U.S. Green Building Council. "Intro - What LEED is." (Dec. 29, 2010) http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=1988
  • Whiteley, Peter O. "Eco-friendly kitchen countertops." Sunset.com. (Jan. 25, 2014) http://www.sunset.com/home/natural-home/eco-friendly-kitchen-counters-00400000011823/

UP NEXT

Green Roofs And White Roofs: Low Tech Ways To Save Tons Of Energy

Green Roofs And White Roofs: Low Tech Ways To Save Tons Of Energy

Green Roofs And White Roofs: Low Tech Ways To Save Tons Of Energy. Keep reading to learn about Low Tech Ways To Save Tons Of Energy.


More to Explore