Dig deeper into kitchen and bath supply companies to find products that benefit your family and the earth.
Esque Studio’s glass artisans make its sleek, modern Eco- and Delano-Esque lines of kitchen- and barware from recycled glass. The Portland, Oregon-based company supplies boutique retailers such as Anthropologie.
The artists recently moved into a new studio, bought wind-generated power from their local utility and installed two electric furnaces that run three to four times more efficiently than traditional gas furnaces. Esque also packs all its glass creations in biodegradable peanuts. (503) 289-6392
Using environmentally friendly cutting surfaces is a relatively inexpensive way to add a touch of green to your kitchen. Meraz and Associates of Chico, California, has developed a line of cutting boards made from PaperStone, a Forest Stewardship Council–certified composite made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper and non-petroleum-based resins.
Sold under the EcoCulinary brand, the cutting boards are dishwasher safe and stain- and heat-resistant. They’re manufactured by the Work Training Center, an organization that trains and employs about 1,000 Chico-area adults with disabilities. “We believe in being part of our community,” David Meraz says. “Instead of manufacturing in China, we’ve stayed in our own back yard.” (530) 343-0830
Accent tiles add beauty and interest to both kitchens and baths. La Tene, an artisan tile studio in Bellingham, Washington, uses a water-based sculptural medium to craft accent tiles from 23,000 tons of post-industrial copper chop.
La Tene’s chief artist, Amanda Timmons, says her work celebrates Celtic tradition. “All ancient people worshiped nature and, as such, took stewardship of the land,” she says. “Now science confirms the interdependence of all elements of nature, and we’ve taken up the challenge to save our planet.” La Tene (360) 765-6506
At 3.5 gallons per flush, older conventional toilets can be among the worst water wasters in American homes. According to the EPA, 30 percent of indoor residential water use can be attributed to flushing the toilet. That’s equivalent to more than 2.1 trillion gallons of water a year in the United States.
Now the EPA has developed a water-use rating for home appliances, including toilets. Called WaterSense, it’s similar to Energy Star ratings for electric appliances. Dual-flush toilets, long popular in Europe, are coming of age in this era of water wisdom. WaterSense-rated dual-flush toilets provide the option of a skimpy 1.1 gallon flush for liquid waste and a 1.6 gallon flush for solids.
Sterling’s Karsten Dual-Flush toilet complies with these new WaterSense standards; at 0.8 gallons, its liquid waste flush option actually exceeds them. (800) 456-4537
The sink cycle
Whether your kitchen décor is vintage or modern, stainless steel sinks are a great choice that also can be very eco-friendly. This one, by the Canadian company Julien, is made with 100 percent recycled stainless steel and manufactured using a “closed-loop” system. “All the sheet metal we purchase is made from recycled stainless, and we return all our scraps to our supplier for reuse,” Julien spokesperson Celine Marcotte says.
Typical recycled content for stainless is 60 percent, according to the International Stainless Steel Forum. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates that recycling iron and steel saves enough energy to provide electricity to about 18 million U.S. homes for a year. Julien’s sinks are individually made from hand-polished, hand-welded, 16-gauge stainless steel. (800) 461-3377