What is recycled glass: It is colorful recycled glass mixed into a cement, concrete, or resin base. Recycled glass kitchen counter tops can be colored or stained for more variation or to coordinate with cabinetry.
Why it’s eco friendly countertops: Diverts used glass from the waste stream. The cement in some counters is mixed with fly ash, a waste product that usually ends up in landfills; this also reduces greenhouse gas–producing cement manufacturing.
2. End-Grain Bamboo Countertops
What is end grain bamboo: Chopping blocks that are made up into slender rectangles of end-grain bamboo glued into panels
Why it’s eco friendly : Bamboo is a great substitute for wood. Its fast growth makes it more renewable and it doesn’t harm the indoor air quality.
3. Recycled Paper Countertops
What is recycled paper: Recycled paper in a resin base. It is available in thicknesses ranging from 1/4-inch to 2 inches; colored in many hues. It is heat and stain resistant with an honed-surface look.
Why it’s eco friendly: Recycled paper is green because it uses postconsumer recycled paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and nonpetroleum, formaldehyde-free resins, some made from cashew nut shell liquid. It can be cut and shaped with standard woodworking tools.
4. Sustainable Wood
What it is sustainable wood: It is butcher-block counters, from reclaimed or recycled lumber. Others are from handsome but lesser-known tree species that have been harvested. Butcher blocks can be made from slender lengths or end-grain blocks.
Why it’s eco friendly: Using reclaimed wood reduces the need for harvesting new trees. Recycled old-growth lumber often has tighter grain and better quality. Underutilized species expands the range of grain and color choices and offer higher quality lumber from managed forests.
5. Recycled Aluminum
What it is recycled aluminum: 50% to 90% recycled aluminum to make countertop-depth pieces up to 3 feet wide with built-in front lip and backsplash, and to make tiles. Renewed Materials makes Alkemi, a solid-surface material containing postindustrial scrap aluminum in polymeric resin.
Why it’s eco friendly: Can include sinks, light fixtures, and hardware, are all made with recycled metals that can then be recycled at the end of their useful life. Metal products are finished with reusable abrasives and recirculated water. Clear-coat finish is safe for food and nontoxic.