Green kitchen countertops

Photo: IceStone Recycled Glass Countertop
Must-see eco-renovation ideas

The kitchen is one of the most renovated spaces in homes today, and offers plenty of options for choosing greener materials for greater sustainability and better indoor air quality. Perhaps one of the greatest opportunities to introduce eye-catching features into your kitchen is the countertop surface, where you can customize colour, texture, edgings and shapes. If you haven’t yet considered the eco-countertop options on the market today, you’re missing out on some of the most stunning options available.

IceStone Recycled Glass Countertops

Post-consumer recycled waste has never looked so good. IceStone’s terrazzo-like countertops are composed of 75 percent recycled glass combined with Portland cement and pigment. Not only can you select the exact colour combination you wish, but the real beauty is that they can be created to virtually any shape and dimension you need, so they’re entirely customizable. And because they’re Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold, these countertops are 100 percent recyclable (they can be ground up mechanically and reformed). They also qualify you for LEEDS credits: MRc4: Recycled Content.

Not only does this company produce a seriously green product, it has also incorporated sustainability throughout the manufacturing process. They use a system for capturing and reusing all of their process water during manufacturing, and they offset 100 percent of their energy with renewable energy certificates.

PaperStone Recycled Paper Countertops

Made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper and natural pigments, PaperStone surfaces offer nearly unlimited customization and stunning durability, with an almost soft, leathery appearance. Surprisingly, though PaperStone is made of paper, it is non-porous and therefore is stain-resistant and absorbs virtually no water. It is heat-resistant up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (and even Class A fire-rated). Though it does require some maintenance with a special PaperStone finish, it emits no radon and is VOC-free and food safe. PaperStone can also be used to create furniture, vertical panels and even cutting boards. This material is both Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and qualifies for LEED credits in the Rapidly Renewing Materials and Certified Wood categories.

Richlite Stratum Plyboo Bamboo Countertops

If you love the look of a wood countertop but want something unique and sustainable, you’ll love Richlite’s Stratum bamboo countertops. The surfaces of these countertops are made with post-consumer recycled paper composite which is then finished with an edge-grain bamboo. You can choose from various thicknesses, colours, edge treatments and striations depending on your design scheme. The green certifications for this product are many—it’s FSC-certified, GREENGUARD Children and Schools (for indoor air quality) certified and it qualifies for several LEED Credits (low-emitting materials and recycled content categories). Of course, because it’s bio-based, it’s more renewable than countertops made of vinyl, too.

Bio-Glass Recycled Glass Surfaces

Another recycled glass option, Bio-Glass, is made with 100 percent pre-consumer recycled glass that is heated and agglomerated under pressure to create glistening surfaces that can be used as countertops, on walls and even for flooring. It is also Cradle to Cradle certified (silver) and qualifies for LEED Credits: MRc4: Recycled Content.


YellowBlue DesignsYellowBlue Designs sells green house plans and blogs about ways to green your home.