Comments Off on Are Concrete Sinks really green products?
Here’s how concrete sinks from Evergreen stack up as green products.
1. There is no waste in production. Many solid surface materials used in countertops are manufactured in slabs and then cut to exact size. This usually means all or most of the cutouts and the remaining material on the slab ends up in the landfill. Our concrete mixes are calculated before pouring to fit the exact size of the mold, so there is little or nothing left over.
2. All the aggregates and portland cement is produced within a 200 km radius of our shop, minimizing the energy consumed in transportation.
3. We often use recycled glass and water as well as reclaimed materials wherever possible as aggregates in our mixes.
4. All our mix designs use pozzolans to reduce the portland cement content as much as possible. Pozzolans are industrial waste and by-products which have cementitious qualities and actually enhance the quality and appearance of the concrete.
5. As these products are hand-made, there is very little energy consumption during production with the exception of some power hand tools. Most of the other solid surface materials are shipped to fabricators which use large energy consuming CNC machines to cut and finish the pieces.
6. Our sealers have extremely low VOC emissions well below the acceptable guidelines of the LEEDS program. “VOC” stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, which are emissions which evaporate into the air and often can be harmful to your health.
Let’s face it, the greenest product you will ever own is the one you’re already using. To replace it, means that the old one goes to the landfill. But we all know that’s not practical over time as many materials such as laminates don’t last, styles and family needs change and renovations are inevitable. Concrete has longevity, not only in terms of it’s durability, but also in it’s style.
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Comments Off on If you use only green or recycled products, do they make your house GREEN?
Products made from recycled materials don’t make a house “Green” any more than solar panels do. But it is important to keep the goals of sustainable building in mind when making purchasing decisions. That’s not always easy. Take for example a granite countertop. Granite is a natural material and is extremely durable. But what if the stone is imported from the Far East and is mined in a country where labour or environmental laws are suspect? How much energy is consumed if it has to be shipped to another country for polishing and then shipped to a distributor in North America, then to a fabricator for cutting and dimensioning before it finally reaches your home?
Choosing appropriate materials is a lost effort if the house wastes fuel or is poorly designed and built. But given the right context, green products are an important part of sustainability.