Eco Friendly Countertops: Natural Stone
Natural stone, The Eco-Friendly Solution:
Natural stone is becoming a more popular option for kitchen countertops because more and more people are concerned about the building material they bring into their home. Concerns include the carbon emissions used to produce or mine the material, the effect on the air quality in the home, as well as the overall environmental impact of the material. Eco friendly countertops are the answer to these concerns.
If these concerns sound familiar to you, natural stone is a great option for you. Natural stone grows naturally and is mined with minimal interference in its natural environment. Large hunks of stone are cut from solid rock and then cut into slabs by diamond-tipped blades. These slabs are then polished and little else is done in the manufacturing process of these slabs.
The amount of energy used to craft these stones is far less than the amount of energy used to create many man made and engineered materials such as laminate and quartz. The overall carbon emissions are very low in the mining of these natural materials. Stone countertops also do not leak any VOC’s. Volatile organic compounds are pollutants found in a wide range of building materials including laminate countertops. There are none in natural stone countertops, so they won’t harm your home’s indoor air quality.
Natural stone needs to be properly cared for, but with the proper care these will be the last countertops you will ever need. Natural stone countertops, when taken care of properly, can last between 30-50 years. Usually when these countertops are replaced it is because of a taste preference or a new owner, not because of the material itself.
Natural stone countertops are the best kind of recycled countertops, recycled straight from the natural source. Here are a few tips to save even more of the natural environment by minimizing our impact on it. Having to make less man made materials and using less stone to create fewer lasting countertops is great news for the environment. Make sure that any countertop you remove from your home, be it manmade or natural stone, is recycled properly when disposed of. If you can, choose a locally sourced natural stone for your next countertop makeover. When your new countertop is installed, make sure that you insist on a non-toxic sealer for your natural stone.
Using locally grown natural stone for your home is the best thing you can do for the environment and to keep your carbon footprint as small as possible. Not only will you gain beautiful natural stone countertops in your kitchen, but mother nature will thank you! See if natural stone materials fit in your kitchen remodel budget here.
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