/ Green Design

Consider These Green Materials & Resources for Your Kitchen

Recycling Symbol Superimposed Over Image of Kitchen

When it comes to green remodeling and construction, conserving materials is just as important as conserving energy and water. "Reduce, reuse, recycle" is the mantra of the conservation movement and applies to kitchens as well as to paper and plastic. Many building products can be recycled or reused, saving money as well as the environment.

For starters, don't take the Extreme Home Makeover approach to demolition. Running into your kitchen at full speed, sledgehammer in hand, might reduce stress levels, but it's also dangerous and wasteful. When carefully removed, cabinets, plumbing and lighting fixtures, appliances, countertops and hardware can be used in another room of your home, sold or traded via the Internet, or donated to a charitable organization.

When choosing products and materials for your own kitchen, look at salvage, resale and antique stores. You could score a one-of-a-kind find to customize your kitchen, or just find satisfaction in knowing that you saved a tree by using reclaimed lumber.

Materials exchanges
allow businesses, nonprofits and individuals to trade, sell and buy surplus or used products, including a full range of building supplies. E-Bay is an obvious example, but many nonprofit and/or building supply specialty sites exist, too.

Reuse stores
serve the same purpose as exchanges. Some only allow low-income homeowners or nonprofit agencies to shop. Others allow anyone to purchase, and donate profits to organizations that support affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity has a national network of Habitat ReStores run by its local chapters. These materials might include anything from last season's appliance models to a kitchen's worth of barely used cabinets that a homeowner replaced in a remodel.

Salvage stores
tend to feature reclaimed, architecturally significant items such as wood planks from old barns or antique sinks. These items often don't fall into the "cheap" category, but they might be cheaper than buying brand new.




Web Site

Architectural Salvage Warehouse

Burlington, Vermont

Build it Green! NYC

Astoria, Queens, New York

Building Materials Resource Center

Boston, Massachusetts

City Salvage

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Community Forklift

Edmonston, Maryland

Construction Junction

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

EcoBuilding Bargains

Springfield, Massachusetts

Florida Victorian Architectural Antiques

DeLand, Florida

The Green Project

New Orleans, Louisiana

Habitat for Humanity ReStores


The Loading Dock

Baltimore, Maryland

Madison Stuff Exchange

Madison, Wisconsin

Ohmega Salvage

Berkeley, California

Olde Good Things

Los Angeles, California

New York City, New York

Scranton, Pennsylvania

The ReBuilding Center

Portland, Oregon

The ReCONNstruction Center

New Britain, Connecticut


Burlington, Vermont

ReNew Building Materials & Salvage

Brattleboro, Vermont

ReUse Centers

Covington, Kentucky


Erlanger, Kentucky


Cincinnati, Ohio

ReUse Industries

Albany, Ohio

The ReUse People

Oakland, California

Salvage One

Chicago, Illinois

Second Use

Seattle, Washington

Stardust Building Supplies

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona