Green Cabinetry

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kitchen_cabinetry_afdesigns.jpgWhether you’re looking for cabinetry for your kitchen, bath or home office, there are more eco-friendly options on the market today. What makes the wood used in these applications more eco-friendly?

Wood products that contain no formaldehyde or VOCs in the finished product are better for indoor air quality. Better still are: FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood that comes from well managed forests; salvaged woods whose life can be restored with a little re-milling; bio-composites made from recycled and renewable agricultural materials; and bamboo, a fast-growing grass that provides durable products.

A California-based company, Artistic Freedom Designs, manufactures sustainable custom cabinetry and furniture, like the stylish kitchen cabinets pictured here. If you’re lucky enough to live in the San Francisco area, you can treat yourself to stunning bamboo cabinets by AlterEco. Oregon-based Neil Kelly was the first in the kitchen and bath industry to use a full range of environmentally-friendly materials and techniques.

For those on the East Coast, Breathe Easy Cabinetry is a wonderful source. Find a dealer in your area and ask about Wm Ohs Custom Kitchens’ offerings of beautiful, environmentally-friendly cabinetry here.

And don’t forget the cabinetry hardware! Our previous post shows a Seattle-based company’s innovative products here.

Tag(s): Green Furnishings, Kitchens And Baths


4 Responses to “Green Cabinetry”

  1. Jenel on October 2nd, 2007 6:40 pm

    There is a common misconception that just because wood or bamboo cabinets do not have formaldehyde that is positive for indoor air quality. Take into consideration that there are so many other chemicals and VOC’s that are used in the production of making cabinets, that can be contributing factors and elements to indoor air quality. Take your research one step further than that of the manufacturer of the cabinets. There are many alternatives to wood or bamboo, such as steel (which is more friendly to indoor air quality) and also contains recycled content and can also be easily recycled when it’s life cycle ends. I suggest researching in more depth when selecting cabinetry for your home. Formaldehyde is not the only toxic chemical used in cabinets. I would suggest researching third-party certification criteria (Greenguard, GreenSeal, SCS) and challenging cabinet manufacturers on those levels. There is currently no wood or bamboo kitchen cabinet manufacturer that has a third party certification meeting these emissions criteria, which is important if you care about what you breathe, and what your family (especially children) are inhaling.

  2. joyceb on October 3rd, 2007 8:50 am

    You bring up a very good point. I remember having metal cabinetry from the 50’s era in an apartment I once rented. I thought they were pretty cool, but I’m sure most people who have them, rip them out and replace them with wood cabinetry, and likely don’t recycle them. Since stainless steel and contemporary style have been popular over recent years, perhaps steel cabinetry will become all the next rage.

  3. Joan Stanton on May 9th, 2009 7:30 am

    I am looking to make cabinets for an office. There seems to be much controversy on whether or not solid wood is formaldehyde free and if so what wood would be safest to use. Is unfinished solid wood free of formaldehyde and which wood would be the best to use?

    I agree that stainless steel would be the best choice but this is very costly to have made, what are other metals that would be good to use for cabinets that are formaldehyde and voc free??

  4. Joyce on May 9th, 2009 9:27 am

    Urea formaldehyde (the formaldehyde that is of most concern) is used in the adhesives found in particleboard, hardwood plywood paneling, and standard MDF. Phenol formaldehyde generally emits formaldehyde at considerably lower rates than those containing UF. Phenol formaldehyde is found in other composite wood products, such as softwood plywood and flake or oriented strandboard (OS), which are produced for exterior construction use. By using solid wood and VOC-free adhesives and paints or stains, you will be avoiding formaldehyde. Here is my previous post on non-toxic wood stains:

    As far as metal cabinetry goes, metal does not offgas, so I would think any metal would be fine. Hope that helps!

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