Homeowners today are more focused than ever before on improving the air quality in the home. With this focus comes a rise in concerns about the use of formaldehyde and other toxic materials in the manufacture of many kitchen cabinets. Eco-friendly cabinets provide an alternative that will help families to avoid exposure to harmful chemical emissions. Eco-friendly cabinets now come in a variety of materials and designs to meet families’ style preferences while providing peace of mind.
Formaldehyde Free Cabinets
Older cabinets are often made of particleboard or plywood and bound with formaldehyde glues. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen which emits harmful fumes that may trigger allergic responses such as wheezing, coughing, watering eyes, and rashes, particularly in those with respiratory conditions. With the increase in awareness of these harmful chemicals, many cabinet manufacturers have begun to craft formaldehyde free cabinets using sustainable sources and agricultural by-products.
No or Low VOC Emissions
VOCs are volatile organic compounds, which also affect air quality. VOCs are often present in the finishes of cabinets. For ease, home owners can ensure product safety by looking for a Green Seal or GreenGuard certification on cabinets. These companies inspect cabinets and certify only those that have the lowest chemical emissions.
Renewable Wood- Bamboo or Lyptus
Homeowners wishing to keep the home safe and opt for a greener alternative may wish to purchase cabinets made from bamboo or lyptus. Lyptus is a eucalyptus hybrid that matures much faster than traditional eucalyptus for a more sustainable solution. Cabinets made from lyptus look similar to cabinets made from cherry wood. Both of these wood types add a unique and modern twist to a kitchen.
FSC Certified Wood
The Forest Stewardship Counsel only certifies wood products which come from sources that harvest responsibly. Homeowners that are concerned about environmentally friendly practices need only look for this certification when choosing cabinetry. There are a wide variety of FSC certified cabinets available.
Choosing salvaged wood cabinets is a great way to add individuality to a kitchen. Salvaged wood is wood that had previously been used in the construction of a different structure and has been refinished and repurposed to make a charmingly distinctive set of cabinets that is truly one of a kind. Salvaged wood is an extremely environmentally conscience alternative, as it prevents waste as well as deforestation.
Cabinets made with a wood veneer are a lower cost alternative to solid wood cabinets. Wood veneer comes in a wide variety of styles and sizes to fit virtually any kitchen. When choosing wood veneer, homeowners should be careful to look for eco-friendly certifications to avoid harmful emissions. Homeowners should also inquire about quality, as cabinets should be able to withstand years and years of use.