Green friendly kitchen cabinets and for that matter furniture and other wood products use materials which are suppose to be good for the environment and help to save energy and resources.
Some of the green friendly products and their pros and cons:
BAMBOO-This is actually a type of grass which grows almost like a weed in Asia. China is the most well known for their importing of Bamboo.
Pros: It is very fast growing and therefore it easily replaced. There is an abundance of Bamboo in China and it is considered one of the Worlds most renewable products.
It is a very strong product and is harder than “Oak”.
It can be stained almost any color.
Cons: It has to be shipped from China all the way to the United States, so therefore it takes quite a bit of energy to ship.
RECYCLED WOOD- The recycled wood is wood that has been taken from the past and reused for new products.
Old Barn Wood-This wood can be used for cabinets, flooring or for that matter any wood product .
Old Growth Logs pulled from the bottom of Lake Michigan-These are logs which have been pulled off the bottom of Lake Michigan. The Loggers used to transport the the logs across Lake Michigan and many of the Logs ended up on the bottom of the Lake. A company has been contracted to remove these logs and they have been salvaged and dried.
Wood and Beams from Old Factories- These are mostly timbers used in the construction of old factories. These old beams can be resawed and used for flooring or even kitchen cabinets.
Pros: The recycled products are great because they are taking old materials and reusing them for new products.
Cons: Some of these products take quite a bit of energy to salvage and or process to be used for new ones.
FORMALDEHYDE FREE Wood- This is wood such as Strawboard or Special MDF(Medium Density Fiberboard) which uses special glues with no Formaldehyde. There are a growing number of these products coming to market.
Pros: Because there is no formaldehyde in this engineered wood, it is better for the environment because it doesn’t out gas toxic gases.
Cons: Because it is not a finished product it is typically used for the cabinet interiors. Although some people may consider for more of an industrial look for a finished product.
Solid Wood- Actually products made of solid wood can be considered green but there are special processing that is required to keep it green friendly. Solid Wood that is glued with special glues that are formaldehyde free. Also, the finish going on the wood is critical. The Waterbased, LOW VOC, lacquers wood be recommended over the more traditional Nitrocellulose Lacquers that can do damage to the environment.
Pros: More readily Available and less costly that some of the other finished woods mentions above.
Cons: May take a lot of energy and resources to process into lumber.
Another more of a hybrid product is solid wood which has been processed by an Urban Sawmill. There are Local Small Sawmill Companies that use logs which have been salvaged from tree services and local trees which have to be removed for desease or safety reasons. These are great woods to use for cabinets and furniture because they come from local resources and less energy is used to get them shipped and processed. Some of these urban sawmills even have Solar Kilns which use natural resources to dry the wood.
The “green friendly era” is here and there is a lot of hype about green products now a days. But there is a lot of merit to green products because it shows you care about the environment and its future. Sustainable products are the wave of the future and will probably expand in popularity in the future.