Hello design and planet lovers! It’s Daniel…the Huntress’s interior design associate with an eye for things “green”.
As interior designers we are constantly specifying materials for our clients’ projects. Two of my favorite materials, like many other designers, are marble and granite. Natural stone is just so classic and beautiful and never goes out of fashion.Think again! Stone, despite coming from the earth, is not a “green” or a renewable resource. There are several draw backs to that stone coming from Europe or Asia destined for your kitchen or bath, something to consider if you are concerned about the impact manufacturing of stone has on the Earth.
Today I want to touch on why I have begun rethinking recommending the use of traditional materials in lieu of some new sustainable ones in our design projects. This is all in an effort to educate people about some gorgeous green alternatives available for your home.
Quarries can be very destructive to ecosystems, wildlife and surrounding communities. While there are some stone yards that are turned into parks when extraction has been completed, most are left as eerily desolate and dangerous monuments. Smoke, dust and gas vapor from the continuous excavation of quarries can in many cases destroy the health of the workers, as well as send particulates and pollution into our atmosphere.
In most cases the stone gets loaded onto a huge cargo ships and is sent across the globe. Today the idea of having something imported does not always have the cache it once did.These ships use untold amounts of fossil fuels which elevate the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Once the stone reaches your home it needs a sealer that has the potential to off-gas. The list goes on and on, making the carbon foot print of that stone pretty heavy.
I am not saying we should never use stone again but let’s integrate some new options into our repertoire.
Enter my new favorite material… Glass… it’s modern, it’s classic and it’s architectural. Great strides have been made with glass and composites using glass since I was a kid. At SHIELDS & COMPANY INTERIORS we have been integrating these materials into kitchen and bath counters and surfaces for years now, and the clients love them!
THINK GLASS is a company based in Montreal that has a mission which keeps mother earth in mind. They produce some of the most beautiful counters out of glass that you can imagine. Aside from using no sealants or harsh chemicals and having a tough as nails durability, glass counters use up to 25% recycled material and are 100% recyclable.The glass is radon free (as compared to granite) and has no emissions or negative impact on air quality. Did I mention totally hygienic too?
Another favorite stone substitute of mine is made by a local company ( yea, Brooklyn!) and is called IceStone. IceStone surfaces are made put of 100% post industrial recycled glass combined with cement, all of which comes from the United States. I have been to their naturally light filled facility and have met the workers, and I must say this company has covered all the bases in the sustainable ball game.
It is a big challenge to completely eliminate our carbon foot print and reduce our impact on the earth but with small choices we can begin to make a difference. I hope in my continual search I am able to share with you some of those options, and maybe to inspire you to save a little chunk of the planet.
TTYL (talk to ya later)