With all of the focus recently on 'Going Green' and Eco-Friendly products, the construction industry has stepped up and starting looking for Eco-Friendly products and energy saving techniques to help minimize the impact on the environment. While there are a wide range of products (too many to talk about in one article), I would like to focus on one specific category- kitchen and bathroom cabinets. It is hard to imagine that something that is traditionally made completely from wood can be eco-friendly without sacrificing strength or durability, but there are several products that have become a more viable option in the past couple of years without sacrificing quality or looks. On the high end of the market, you have Bamboo cabinets.
There are only a handful of manufacturers out there that make bamboo cabinets, but they are growing in popularity. Since bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world and can be easily replenished (much faster than any other tree), manufacturers are starting to make use of this valuable resource. While the entire cabinet could not be made out of bamboo, they use thin layers of bamboo as a veneer for the cabinets. With solid plywood construction underneath, these cabinets offer durability, strength, and a unique look for your kitchen.
however, you should expect to pay a higher price for them. Since all of the cabinets are made to order, lead times are going to longer and the total cost is going to be higher. But the added benefit of knowing you are doing your part to help the environment is well worth it. While very few people realize it, RTA Cabinets or Ready-To-Assemble cabinets are fast becoming an eco-friendly product. While they are still made of the traditional hard woods, they have a very different approach to the manufacturing process.
Unlike custom made cabinets that will only use select grades of wood and specific pieces of the tree, RTA Cabinets actually use 100% of the tree in their construction, reducing the number of trees needed for manufacturing and eliminating excess waste. Since the cabinet box is made of plywood, they are able to utilize the less desired parts of the tree and still create a sturdy cabinet box. Another feature of Ready-To-Assemble cabinets that is seldom factored into the environmental impact of a product is the packing material used, fuel used and pollution created during shipping. Since a ready-to-assemble cabinet is shipped tightly packed in a cardboard box, it used 45% less packing material as a pre-assembled cabinet. In addition to less packing material, it takes up less space on a truck and you can fit over 250% more on a pallet (on a traditional pallet you can fit roughly 8 pre-assembled cabinets with packing materials without damaging them. with RTA Cabinets you can fit as many as 20-25 cabinets on a pallet).
The more product you can fit in a truck, the less fuel per product that is actually be consumed and less pollution being created. As the environmental impact of every day products becomes a bigger and bigger issue, it is important to start searching for way to have your own positive impact on the environment. While there are numerous products in the construction industry that are eco-friendly, we wanted to highlight two products that have the biggest impact on your home (since the kitchen and bathrooms are the two biggest features that home buyers scrutinize when looking at a home).
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