At Quality Kitchen Cabinets, being green is just part of what we do. We’ve been around long enough to see what it truly means to be green – Not only do we strive to use renewable materials in our products, but we take the life-cycle of a product into consideration. Poorly made products that advertise themselves as green prove themselves bad for the environment in a couple of years when the dump has to take them. We offer cabinets that are environmentally friendly, and meant to last.
For large cabinet companies, the best certification system around is the Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) [link to http://www.greencabinetsource.org/], administered by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer Association, and overseen by ANSI. Companies that comply with the ESP program must show that they use materials with low formaldehyde emissions, and that the hardwoods used are sustainably harvested. Kemper, KitchenCraft, Fieldstone and Jay Rambo are all ESP certified, while Huggy Bear’s Cupboards is pending certification.
Choosing a Door Material
For each type of door, there are ways of making your choice more environmentally friendly.
Solid Wood Doors
- Should be made with wood harvested from sustainable forests
- Are best when made from materials that grow to maturity quickly, like Lyptus and Bamboo
Wood Veneer Doors
- Wood Veneer is a thin slice of wood, cut from a tree using a knife, instead of a saw, meaning no wood is lost as sawdust
- The veneer can be applied to a core of recycled material, saving new trees from being felled
- Brookside offers veneers that are stained to emulate endangered wood species
- Laminates and Thermofoils allow for a kitchen to be built without any new wood product
- Laminates are made of melamine, and thermofoils are made with vinyl, and are both available in either solid colors or wood grains
- The core of the door is furniture board or MDF, both made of recycled wood products
- With a SkyBlend furniture board box, cabinet uses NO new wood products
Choosing a Finish
While it is important to ensure that the material for the door is renewable and sustainable, the finish should be made to off-gas as little as possible, providing you with the best indoor air quality for your family. All of our manufacturers are compliant with CARB rules that limit the emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPS), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), and urea formaldehyde. The standard finish from our companies is continually re-engineered to provide the best protection from daily wear and tear, and the least off-gassing possible. For a cleaner indoor environment, a water based finish can be used.
- Provides outstanding protection against moisture, easy to clean
- Moderate VOC and formaldehyde emissions
Water Based Finish
- Provides moderate protection against moisture, requires more care in cleaning
- Low to no HAPS, VOC or formaldehyde emissions
Choosing a Box Style
Although it’s the door that gets all the attention, the box of the cabinet is normally over 70% of the wood used. The most environmentally friendly box material offered is Roseburg SkyBlend Particleboard. Made from 100% recycled fibers and a soy-based adhesive, there is no added Urea Formaldehyde (NAUF) to SkyBlend, allowing you to maintain ideal indoor air quality. Both Aristocratic Cabinetry and Huggy Bear’s Cupboards offer SkyBlend as a standard box material.
Plywood is not as environmentally friendly as SkyBlend, simply because the wood panels used cannot be made from recycled material. However, we do offer FSC certified plywood that uses NAUF glues.