We all want to protect the environment, yet desire to have beautiful, comfortable and convenient homes. How can a home be convenient without wood cabinets? But how can we be sure that the manufacturer has a commitment to sound environmentally-protective policies and practices in the manufacturing of its custom cabinet products. Follow the standards below, to purchase environmentally friendly cabinets for your home.
Make sure that the manufacturer has been certified by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) as meeting the standards for its "Environmental Stewardship Program" (ESP). This program was created to recognize industry manufacturers who use environmentally friendly materials and production processes. To qualify for and maintain certification, manufacturers are evaluated annually on compliance in five categories, including air quality, product resource management, process resource management, environmental stewardship and community relations, as well as energy conservation and recycling programs.
Air Pollution is an important issue for our environment that needs to be considered by a manufacturer of any product. Choose a manufacturer that takes this issue seriously. For example, Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry fostered the development and use of the Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) for the destruction of emissions generated in the cabinetry finishing process. The RTO operates in a self-sustaining mode and does not need any fuel (natural gas) input, which is a significant savings in energy.
A responsible manufacturer should comply with all local and state regulations for the discharge of any waste water, as regulated by the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System and the state Department of Environmental Protection. Steam condensate should be recovered and re-circulated back to the boiler systems to reduce the amount of un-treated water necessary to produce more steam.
Cabinet manufacturers should grind sawdust and wood scrap to then use as fuel to heat the factory and provide steam to operate the dry kilns. Particle collectors should be used to remove wood fly ash from any air emissions. Recycling the scrap eliminates having to deposit wood waste into landfills and reduces the need for reliance on domestic or foreign fossil fuels for operation. The self-produced fuel, recycled from scrap is a renewable natural resource, and the most environmentally responsible fuel possible.
Other recycling within the company should also be considered. The manufacturer should include such steps as using recycled product packaging materials, wrapping paper and packing foam, re-using in-coming packaging fill for out-going shipments, monitoring water consumption, installing energy efficient light fixtures and high-pressure humidification equipment to reduce compressed air and electricity usage.
Lastly, a responsible cabinet manufacturer should only purchase locally and from vendors that are dedicated to responsible forestry management. By adhering to the rules of the Department of Agriculture, hardwood forests are harvested only once every ten to twenty years, keeping the disturbance to the ecosystem to a minimal level.
If we do a little research and choose to make our purchases from responsible manufacturers, we can make a huge impact on the protection of our environment and still have the luxuries of life.
Information for this article gathered from Wood-Mode.com