“Reduce, reuse, recycle!”
“Become an eco-warrior!”
You’ve likely heard one of these slogans or something similar as it relates to living a sustainable life. Now more than ever, our environment needs our help. It may seem like the only ways to help are to recycle, use reusable shopping bags, and help pick up trash in your community. But did you know that you can help save the environment through your kitchen cabinets?
That’s right; ecological kitchens are helping save the earth (and your health) one home at a time. Wondering how that’s possible? Let’s dive into all the fantastic benefits and contemporary designs of eco-friendly kitchen cabinets.
What Makes Kitchen Cabinets Ecological?
Recycled materials are at the forefront of eco-friendly cabinets, as they are with many varieties of ecological products worldwide. Eco-friendly cabinets are also mindful of every material used— down to the glue. But to understand why ecological cabinets are so important, it is beneficial to first dive into what happens when you don’t have an eco-friendly kitchen.
What Happens When Cabinets Are NOT Eco-Friendly?
Cabinets are commonly made out of the following pressed wood materials:
- Medium-density fiberboard
- Hardwood plywood paneling
That doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, the (big) issue with these pressed wood products is that they contain formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (VOC), meaning it emits gas from various solids and liquids, including:
VOCs often cause short and long-term health effects, and their concentration is up to ten times higher indoors than outdoors. This is concerning because we spend the large majority (up to 90%!) of our days indoors.
The off-gassing from formaldehyde presents health risks like:
- Skin irritations
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) classifies formaldehyde as a carcinogen. A carcinogen is any substance that promotes the formation of cancer. Formaldehyde is regulated in industrial settings, but outside of industrial settings, there is no standard regulation for VOCs.
Forget spiders; formaldehyde is the last thing you want in your home. And the only way to avoid it in your kitchen is to actively choose ecological materials.
The Ecological Checklist
Okay, so we know that formaldehyde = bad, and most traditional kitchen cabinets contain formaldehyde. So what classifies eco-friendly cabinets?
Eco-friendly cabinets should meet the following checkpoints:
- Cabinets have the source or safety verified by a third party.
- Material Data Safety Sheets will pinpoint any known substances.
- The cabinet distributor will be open about the manufacturing details.
- Cabinets are not made from particleboard or medium-density fiberboard.
- Adhesives and finishing details are verified as low-VOC.
- Hardware is made from recycled materials.
Puustelli goes above and beyond the standards of ecological cabinets, and we ensure that all of our eco-friendly kitchens meet the following requirements:
- 100% Recyclable Biocomposite Frame
- No Formaldehyde-Based Glues
- No Endangered Wood Species
- Medium-Density Fiberboard and Chipboard Free
The result is an environmentally-friendly kitchen with entirely recyclable materials, no dangerous formaldehyde, and 50% fewer materials used than standard kitchens.
Talk about a win for the environment and your health!
Eco-Friendly Cabinets: The Healthiest Choice for Your Home
Your home is the place where your kids feel most safe, where your friends and family look forward to seeing you, and where you can’t wait to return to after a long day. Your home should be a protective safe-haven, not something that can endanger the health of you or your children. And if we don’t care for the environment as a whole, our earth will eventually become unsafe to live in.
Being environmentally conscious shouldn’t mean sacrificing personal style or luxury. At Puustelli, we’re proud to offer eco-luxury. Incorporating our ecological cabinets in your kitchen means you help reduce your carbon footprint and keep your family healthy, all while enjoying the luxury design that truly turns a house into a home.
Eco-friendly kitchens aren’t a fleeting trend— they’re here to stay. Consumers have an increasing demand for environmentally-friendly products, so manufacturers have to respond in kind.
It’s always worth it to pay a little bit more for high-quality, eco-conscious products that will last for decades, rather than opting for cheap materials that are harmful to the environment and your health and need to be replaced frequently.
There are multiple types of ecological kitchen cabinets, including:
Lyptus is a renewable resource engineered from a hybrid eucalyptus species. One of the greatest perks about Lyptus is that it regenerates from the remains of harvested trees. The design range is vast, as the material looks and feels similar to Mahogany and Red Oak and stains evenly.
Bamboo is springing up in many homes as flooring and fencing. And, it can also make for beautiful, sustainable cabinets. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, and it’s much stronger than other hardwood options. Bamboo forms a unique grain and makes your kitchen stand out. This wood regenerates in less than a decade and improves the air quality in your home.
Reclaimed Wood Cabinets
Reclaimed wood is wood that was previously used in the construction of buildings. Many eco-conscious cabinetmakers utilize reclaimed wood as an eco-friendly option that adds history and character to a kitchen design. With the right color stain, reclaimed wood cabinets can take on a whole new life.
FSC- and ESP-Certified Cabinets
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) both vet and label environmentally friendly products. If you look for cabinets with a seal of approval from either the FSC or ESP, you can trust that the products meet strict requirements of air quality, environmental stewardship, product resource management, and other environmental standards.
5 of Our Favorite Eco-Friendly Cabinet Designs
At Puustelli, we love to take formaldehyde-free cabinets and incorporate them into stunning kitchen designs. From rustic to contemporary to mid-century modern designs, green kitchen cabinets are just as versatile as they are sustainable. Here are five of our favorite kitchen designs that feature our eco-friendly cabinets.
1) Live Life in Color
We love the mix of patterns and colors in this kitchen design. The eco-friendly cabinets specifically feature a playful wood grain design that offers an earthy feel. The stainless steel hardware on the lower cabinets ties the room together with the stainless steel appliances.
2) Architect’s Kitchen Remodel
Black and white is a classic color combination that will never fade out of style. We love how these sustainable cabinets are white on top and black on the bottom to offer an extra level of dimension. The brown wood table in the center of the kitchen breaks up the color scheme without feeling jarring or out of place.
3) A Chef’s Delight
Functional design was the name of the game with this bright Puustelli kitchen. Black cabinet frames with glass doors on top and light wood cabinets with stainless steel hardware on the bottom open up this space and create a functional design for a homeowner who loves to spend time cooking and entertaining.
4) Close to Nature
White is a consistent favorite in homeowner’s kitchens for a reason. White cabinetry and trim open up the space and make it feel large, airy, and inviting. The all-white cabinets draw our attention to the beautiful green trees outside the windows and the plants featured inside the kitchen. We also love the subtle wood grain pattern on all of the cabinets that offers a unique edge.
5) Golden Valley
Brown and black is one of our favorite color combinations. This combination presents a bold and edgy design, all while still feeling homey and inviting. The eco-friendly brown cabinets and pantry doors with an unmissable grain pattern add texture to the kitchen, and the environmentally-conscious black hardware ties the whole room together.
Don’t Make the Mistake of Ignoring Environmental Considerations in Your Kitchen
Going green is more important than ever. And in your kitchen, going green can be black, white, brown, blue, or any color you dream of. The most important thing to consider is the health of your family and the environement. If you opt for cheap, formaldehyde-containing kitchen cabinets, you put your health directly at risk.
You can build your dream kitchen without creating waste that further damages our environment. When you consider all of the advantages, eco-friendly cabinetry is a no-brainer.
Puustelli exclusively offers eco-luxury in our kitchen designs. Take control of your future with your decisions and trust Puustelli with your kitchen. Schedule an appointment to visit our showroom and discover for yourself just how beautiful eco-friendly cabinets can be.