Eco-friendliness is predicted to be the top trending theme in home design for 2013, with everything from water saving shower heads to EnergyStar appliances at the top of every 2013 to-do list. But if you’re not super familiar with the green home movement, or even the whole sustainability thing in general, it can be difficult to know where to start. If you’re in the market for new, eco-friendly bathroom vanities as part of a green bathroom remodel, here are a few types that are good for the earth, good for your health, and can even help contribute to your home’s green home or LEED rating (and the accompanying rebates!).
All Natural Bathroom Vanities From The Wyndham Collection
If you’re looking for an eco friendly bathroom vanity, shopping the Wyndham Collection isn’t a bad place to start. Their bathroom vanities come in sleek, transitional and contemporary styles, with some more traditonal pieces like this Andover Vanity. All their eco friendly bathroom vanities are made of solid, sustainably harvested, zero-emissions Oak hardwood. This wood isn’t treated with any harmful chemicals (as much of the wood used in other bathroom vanities is), but it is specially engineered to prevent warping. All Wyndham Collection eco-friendly bathroom vanities also undergo a multi-stage finishing process. This ensures an extremely water resistant exterior that’s as low as possible in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
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One of the biggest drawbacks of traditional solid wood bathroom vanities is that they’re often made from wood that’s treated with formaldehyde or other VOCs and chemicals. Not only is this bad for the environment, it’s also bad for your health, as these chemicals release into the air in your home over time. Especially if your bathroom doesn’t have any windows, harmful airborne toxins can build up over time and have a negative impact on your indoor air quality and your family’s health. But eco friendly bathroom vanities from Wyhndham Collection, like this Daytona Vanity, are made using zero-emissions, untreated wood, natural, no-VOC adhesives, and the healthiest possible finishing materials without sacrificing quality and durability. They even famously build fish tanks out of the same materials as their vanities to prove how natural, safe, and water tight their eco friendly bathroom vanities are.
Rubberwood Bathroom Vanities From Virtu USA
If you like the look of natural wood, another good option are many of the eco friendly bathroom vanities produced by Virtu USA. Their vanities, like this Enya Vanity are built using 100% solid rubberwood, a fast growing, sustainable material with a beautiful, natural wood grain. Rubberwood is also very dense, and naturally resistant to mold, mildew, and fungus, which helps the wood hold up much better in a bathroom environment than other materials.
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Rubberwood is an ideal material choice for an eco friendly bathroom vanity for a few reasons. Most significantly, the rubberwood tree is used in the production and harvesting of natural latex rubber, and is widely grown for this purpose. But the trees only have a productive lifespan of about 30 years – that is, after 30 years, they no longer produce latex, and are often subsequently chopped down and used for firewood. Virtu harvests rubberwood at the end of it’s useful cycle, saving it from being burned and turning it into beautiful, eco friendly bathroom vanities like this Bruno Vanity.
Innovative Strawboard Bathroom Vanities From Ronbow
Strawboard is perhaps one of the most innovative materials used in eco friendly bathroom vanities. A type of particleboard, strawboard is both more eco friendly and better for your health than traditional MDF or plywood. While wood-based particleboards are made of wood that’s compressed into boards held together with chemical adhesives, Ronbow’s strawboard vanities, like this Lassen Vanity, are made of agricultural byproducts – namely, the straw left over from the harvesting of barley, wheat, and rice. These straws produce their own natural resins at high temperatures, and bind together naturally when exposed to heat and pressure.
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This has a unique dual benefit. First, because the material strawboard is made of is basically considered garbage and is typically burned as refuse after harvesting, strawboard is a material that actually has a negative carbon footprint. By buying a strawboard bathroom vanity like this Arden Vanity, you’re actually preventing usable natural straw from being burned. Secondly, because the resins that bind each board together are 100% natural, strawboard bathroom vanities contain no VOCs. Swapping from almost any other material will immediately improve your indoor air quality.
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to eco friendly bathroom vanities, and a lot of information that can sometimes be confusing. But it’s worth taking the time to look into what you’re buying and think about how it’s made and what it’s made of. And if you’re still not sold on eco friendly bathroom vanities for the environment, your health, or even the “green home” rebates you can get for the government, keep in mind that some of these eco friendly bathroom vanities also just happen to be the hottest trending looks for 2013, and are a great way to keep your home on trend. Why are you in the market for eco friendly bathroom vanities? Are you more interested in the environmental or health benefits, the cost savings, or the style?
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