This question comes from Hugh:
My partner and I are planning a new kitchen at the moment and wondered if anyone knows of more environmentally friendly and affordable alternatives to chipboard/melamine? We are looking at IKEA kitchens
but I don't like the sound of the environmental impacts of the glue that the chipboard is filled with. Since the kitchen is for an extension we will likely demolish in 5-10 years, there's even more reason to use materials that can be more easily broken down or re-purposed...
The Handbook of Sustainable Building says that solid timber alternatives to chipboard/melamine combinations cost around four times as much in general - I'm wondering if that has changed since the book
was published in 1996? Has anyone seen any plywood or solid wood kitchens?
Green kitchens: There is so much information on the topic, we're tempted to post 3 dozen links to information on green choices for countertops, flooring, and cabinetry. If you're willing to spend the time, we're certain you can find some good deals. As an alternative to IKEA's chipboard, a popular green choice is wheatboard (there's quite a bit of info on the subject at GreenHomeGuide). Concrete countertops are also economical and green. And for green kitchen flooring, we love marmoleum and cork.
And don't rule out the second R (reuse): Spend some time hunting at salvage yards -- they're a great place to save money, stay green, and find something more unique than you might anywhere else.
This is a very incomplete answer to a detailed question ... we're hoping readers can fill in the holes!