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It's Easy Being Green | Green Kitchens

Countertop materials, paints and cleaners for an environmentally correct kitchen.

Plastic countertops

Yemm & Hart's Origins is a material for countertops made solely out of melted and pressed recycled plastic and nontoxic dyes. DETAILS From $13 a square foot; 573-783-5434.

Eco-friendly terrazzo

Vetrazzo countertops are composed of at least 80 percent recycled glass shards in a nontoxic base. DETAILS From $85 a square foot; 510-843-6916.

Deciphering the jargon

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are the indoor air pollutants released by the chemicals used in many cleaning supplies, paints and solvents. VOCs can stay in the air even after paint has dried, for instance, or a can of spray cleaner has been put away. Look for no- or low-VOC products, like the ones on this page, to minimize exposure.

Paper countertops

Supersmooth ShetkaStone is made of compressed recycled paper—brown bags for Latte Brown, newspapers for Publisher Gray Dark. DETAILS From $15 a square foot; 952-758-6577.



The Harmony line is available in more than a thousand hues and can be custom-blended to match any swatch. DETAILS From $31 a gallon; 800-474-3794.

Old-Fashioned Milk Paint

This brand, made with milk protein and earth pigments, comes as a powder that you mix with water. DETAILS $44 a gallon; 866-350-6455.


Aubrey Organics

Liquid Sparkle Natural Spray Cleanser for tile and countertops has an antimicrobial grain-alcohol base. DETAILS $5; 800-282-7394.


The glass and surface cleaner from this Belgian company is plant-based and biodegradable. DETAILS $4; 800-449-4925.


Its disinfectant is registered with the EPA as safe for use on food preparation surfaces. DETAILS $3 from Walgreens; 800-WALGREENS.

Published January 2005
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