We've been working on a project with butcherblock from IKEA and have a few insights on what makes them so affordable... and (perhaps) more green than other butcherblock.
IKEA hacker has a few projects, like the bathroom vanity pictured above, that feature the impossibly cheap Numerär butcherblock from IKEA, and we made a bar with it in our own house.
The first thing you may notice is that it is extremely heavy, and that one side is stamped with the word "down." That's because the grain on that side has more imperfections; there was even some wood filler on one of our pieces.
When you cut the butcherblock, you'll notice that while other butcherblock is made of solid pieces of wood, IKEA's are made of laminated strips, which are likely offcuts or waste from furniture factories. This explains why their countertops are so heavy: there's a lot of glue holding all those scraps together, and glue is very heavy.
So, is it green? That depends. Scrap wood is often burned in factories to provide energy, and wood is a carbon-neutral source of energy, so it's not necessarily preventing waste. We're also unclear on what kind of glue is used to hold the scraps together. IKEA claims not to use formaldehyde, but there are no lab tests that we are aware of to confirm the claim.
One thing is for sure, though: it is a great deal.