Green building has been the watch world in the home improvement and building industries for several years now. Many homeowners have begun to question the materials they put into their homes, focusing on those that have a minimal impact on the environment. This can lead to the question of whether or not granite and marble counters can be considered environmentally friendly. They are, after all, a natural material pulled from the earth. There are choices in stone counters, just as there are in many different materials that can let you get the look and durability of stone while still remaining green friendly in your home.
The first thing to consider is the stone’s source. Because granite and marble are cut from the ground, not produced in a factory, there are little to no manufacturing fumes or chemicals being released into the environment from its production. Some granites and marbles do have to travel quite a distance from the quarry to the market, however, which can have an impact on the environment. You can do your part by researching your stone and choosing one that comes a little closer to home, like Vermont Danby, Alabama White, or Dakota Mahogany. The less distance your stone needs to travel, the less of an impact it will have on the environment.
You can further help make your granite or marble counter more environmentally friendly by taking a look at the sealer you use. Sealers help protect your stone and allow you to avoid chemicals in washing it every day. However, many sealers contain VOCs that can give off harmful fumes. By choosing a water-based sealer free of VOCs you can protect your stone and the environment at the same time.
Finally, consider sourcing a recycled slab for your home, or recycling your old counters if you make the switch to a new stone. Many stone yards are willing to take an old slab and rework it for a new home to make a more environmentally sound choice for you.