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Green Living

Green Living in the Virgin Islands: Recycled Countertops  –  My obsession with all things home and garden keeps leading me to new and sustainable alternatives to common home items such as flooring, furniture, decorative items and more recently, countertops.

Whenever you begin to talk about kitchen design or renovations, you immediately hear people talk about their intentions for granite countertops. I have to admit, granite makes a kitchen look clean and finished. Anyone would feel inspired to be the next Iron Chef in a granite-countertop kitchen.

The opportunity to feel like a champion, if just in the culinary world of your family, comes at a heavy cost to the environment. The amount of energy used to transform the undressed stone makes it less desirable to some environmentally conscious homeowners. Though granite is a natural material, the processes to acquire it damages our planet.

 

In California, Vetrazzo turns recycled glass into beautiful countertops. A glass scientist who turned his passion for the environment into a sustainable business started the company in the mid-nineties.

All the glass used in making their countertops is recycled and makes up 85% of the final material by weight. The company uses glass from community recycling programmes as well as post-industrial items from demolished buildings and even decommissioned traffic lights. Every 9’x5’ countertop reuses 1,000 bottles and 550 pounds of glass.

Even more beautiful than the thought of utilising old beer and vodka bottles to make a beautiful countertop is the variety of colours that the Vetrazzo countertops come in. This gives you the added advantage of utilising colours like cool whites, deep blues and crisp greens when thinking about decorating your kitchen around the beauty of your environmentally conscious countertop.

 

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If you are in the market for a sustainable kitchen, we hope you consider the option of a more sustainable countertop—maybe at first the thought won’t inspire you to be the next Iron Chef, but sometimes the challenger wins.  

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