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Published: Friday, 9/17/2010

Buying Eco-friendly Cabinets Brings Environmental Responsibility Closer to Home

(ARA) - Lighting is compact fluorescent, appliances are energy efficient, but what about kitchen cabinets? As the heart of the home, the kitchen is one of the most important places to keep the environment and your family's health in mind.

Kitchen experts agree -- cabinets likely will take up about half of the kitchen renovation budget, so it's vital for homeowners wanting to "green" their kitchens to choose a quality cabinet manufacturer with roots in environmental sustainability. The question is: What should you look for to assure that the cabinets you buy are the right choice for your family and the environment?

You may want to consider cabinets from a company that is engaged in furthering the development of credible sustainable forestry programs through endorsement and promotion. These programs ensure that the resources removed from the forest are at a level the forest is capable of renewing without damaging its future prosperity. In doing so, they help preserve the environment and valuable forest resources. By also looking for cabinets made up of recycled materials you can further help conserve resources. In addition, companies that use low-emitting materials, such as composite wood, in their cabinets help protect the air quality in your home.

When shopping for eco-friendly cabinets it is important to examine not only the cabinets, but also the process that was used to manufacture them. Determine whether the manufacturer has an active recycling program for waste, an energy conservation program or another form of environmental management system. On top of conserving resources, these practices can reduce the emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases, and aid in reducing landfills.

You may also want to consider whether the manufacturer is involved in its community and is doing its part to educate others about sound environmental practices. Though some of these factors may seem difficult to determine on your own, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association's (KCMA) Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) can simplify your quest for eco-friendly cabinets.

Created to encourage industry environmentalism, as an avenue for cabinet manufacturers to demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability, and for homeowners to be able to easily identify environmentally-friendly products, ESP is the only environmental certification program specifically targeted at the cabinet industry. KCMA awards ESP certification to manufacturers based on compliance with standards in five key categories: air quality, product resource management, process resource management, environmental stewardship and community relations.

ESP's holistic approach means you can be confident certified manufacturers are committed to environmental responsibility and that you are doing your part to support the environment. Not only that, but ESP certified cabinets are easy to identify -- just look for the unique green ESP seal located on the inside of the base cabinet door.

Homeowners can find all ESP certified manufacturers, as well as access information on choosing wood products and tips for "greening" their home through ESP's Web site, www.greencabinetsource.org. With over 130 ESP certified cabinetry companies to choose from, homeowners have the ability to select environmentally responsible cabinetry tailored to their needs, no matter their price, style, finish and wood preferences. It's easier than ever to find environmentally friendly cabinets, so if you are building or remodeling make sure to keep it on the top of your to-do list.

For more information and tips on finding environmentally friendly cabinetry visit www.greencabinetsource.org or call (703) 264-1690.

Courtesy of ARAcontent



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