J500 Media and the Environment

Dinner…with a side of concrete and paper by marybethw











When you think of environmentalism in the kitchen, you probably automatically think of your food. But close your eyes. Imagine yourself preparing your next meal; now imagine you’re doing so on cardboard and paper. “What?!,” you say, “that’s crazy talk and will only lead to a soggy mess!” But wait…

A friend who recently redid his kitchen, doesn’t have paper plate-type sogginess problems. He used Richlite for his countertops, which is made of FSC certified paper (meaning it meets certain criteria related to labor, fair trade, and forest management). However, he also looked at paper-based, recycled content options. PaperStone‘s Original and Certified products are made from 100% recycled cardboard and office paper. Along with the new counters, my friend also added an island area to his existing space with a locally made concrete top, which, perhaps surprisingly, is a fairly sustainable substance. However, it’s not just cement; Atlas Archimedes uses recycled glass as aggregates in their slabs. (In Mark’s case, the glass is from old railroad electric line insulators and Kaw River rocks were also added.) 


“But,” you’re saying, “I’m not doing a major overhaul.” Well, what if next time you break a measuring cup you replaced it with one made from recycled plastic? And all this eco-friendliness in the kitchen isn’t just about recycling (which, in the current economy, is probably good). These options use less water, electricity, and create less pollution than other, perhaps more “traditional” options. 

So, next time you think about your food and the environment, you should also consider your food’s space. (Oh, and you can, um, open your eyes.)

~Mary Beth

Thanks to Mark for letting me photograph his kitchen. 100_0160


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Mary Beth,
I love the images. I appreciate you asking us to think outside of the box (ahem) about how our food is prepared. There are a host of recycled plastic housewares by Preserve and great recycled glass tumblers, plates, etc. There are many ways to green your kitchen. as well as your food.

Comment by j500

I’d never really thought of concrete as a “sustainable” material (of course, hadn’t really thought all that much of concrete); so that was a new one for me. And, I think it’s (positively) telling that more and more of these options are more widely available.

Comment by marybethw

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