Mother Earth Living

Best For Kitchen and Bath: Recycled and Efficient Products

Choose recycled and efficient for your high-use spaces.
By Misty McNally
September/October 2008
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Want a Better Dishwasher? Just Asko

At Asko, “every dishwasher is Energy Star–rated,” company spokesperson Brittany Musacchio says. Model D3531XLHD is almost 150 percent more energy-efficient than the federal standard required for dishwashers. The dishwasher consumes only 5 gallons of water per wash, much less than the 9 or so used by a typical dishwasher, and uses half the detergent. When it wears out, the metal and plastic components are recycle-ready. “Being green is not a trend for us, it’s our heritage,” Musacchio says. ASKO D3531XLHD, $1,150.  

Lobster: It’s What’s Serving Dinner

Artful Wares’ granite-look serving pieces are made from crustacean and mollusk shells in a nontoxic and dishwasher-safe resin. Reclaimed from seafood processors in the Northeast, the shells would otherwise be discarded. “It’s an issue in Maine—there isn’t really anything done with the shells,” owner Tamra Philbrook says. “Shellfish companies are eager to have them go to us because then they don’t have to pay to put them in a landfill or barge them out to sea.” Lobster Salad set: $100. (888) 670-2723.

It’s a Guy Thing

The Kohler Steward waterless urinal’s sleek design belies its frugality—not only could it save up to 5,000 gallons of water each year, but it’s touch-free (there’s no flush lever) and easy to clean. Unlike some waterless models, the Steward has no cartridge to change; once a week, just rinse and add Kohler’s cleaning and sealing liquid. Kohler product manager Shane Judd says waterless urinals are becoming more common in homes as water conservation becomes a bigger issue, and they are practical, too, he says. “Men are used to using a urinal, and it’s very familiar and comfortable for them,” Judd says. “And women like it because it gets men off their toilet!” Kohler Steward (K-4918): $540 plus installation.

The Scrappy Recycler

Food scraps are the least-recycled residential trash, according to the EPA. Change that—and turbo-charge your lawn or garden—with the NatureMill composter, which fits under most kitchen counters and plugs into a regular outlet. NatureMill Founder Russ Cohn invented the composter after he accidentally left his food scraps in the kitchen while away on vacation and realized composting happens … indoors! The unit uses a tiny amount of electricity—equivalent to a night-light—to heat and safely generate compost from food scraps (even from meat and dairy) in just two weeks. The unit is made from 100 percent recycled polyethylene. NatureMill Plus: $300. NatureMill Pro (shown): $400. (800) 613-6629.

A Green Cabinet Member

Neil Kelly Cabinets was the first major cabinet maker to use wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in the late 1990s, but president Tom Kelly says it has gradually been going green since the 1970s. Today, the company makes no-added-formaldehyde casework and drawer materials from agricultural waste, and all glues and finishes are low in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. “I do believe that since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, humans have done a very quick job of messing up the environment,” Kelly says, “and much of the wealth has been created at its expense. It is our responsibility as businesspeople to restore the balance.” Neil Kelly cabinets include custom elements, so pricing varies. (503) 335-9207.

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