Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Use ESP to go green when refacing kitchen cabinets

by Jeffrey Anderson
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Your home gets a fresh new look without bruising your wallet: This is one good reason that kitchen cabinet refacing continues to be a popular option for home improvement projects. Now there's one more: The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) and its Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) provide an easy way to determine which cabinet companies are as eco-friendly as your family's values.

5 criteria for cabinets in the Environmental Stewardship Program

The trend of building and remodeling homes with increased concern about energy efficiency and the environment has been growing rapidly in recent years. Many families are making no secret of their preference for purchasing home improvement materials and products from companies that take the extra effort to protect the planet during their manufacturing processes. Building material vendors and contractors are listening to customers. Today, just about every phase of remodeling has green options. Thanks to the KCMA, this includes purchasing components for your kitchen face-lift.

By developing a set of environmentally responsible guidelines for manufacturers who wish to certify their products, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association just made it easier for homeowners planning a cabinet resurfacing project. In order to earn a certification, cabinet companies must demonstrate the following:

  1. A concern for air quality during the manufacturing process
  2. Product resource management to eliminate wasteful procedures
  3. Process resource management
  4. Environmental stewardship by using sustainable products and responsibly grown and harvested wood
  5. Educating customers by advocating eco-friendly remodeling and construction practices

Testing products for certification is handled by independent organizations and the requirements for companies to earn the coveted classification are being further enhanced for 2012.

Where to find ESP kitchen cabinet products

Currently there are about 140 ESP certified cabinet brands and manufacturers. Their products are available from distributors, online retailers and home improvement stores. Qualified products bear the ESP seal. For a list of the companies that have already earned certification visit Green Cabinet Source, the KCMA's website for the Environmental Stewardship Program.

Well known cabinetry manufacturers holding ESP certification include the following four:

  • Aristokraft
  • KraftMaid
  • Merrillat
  • Yorktowne

Many small and local companies that have earned certification should also be able to provide doors and drawer fronts for your kitchen makeover. Look for the "green human tree" logo, when you shop for cabinetry products. It's the best way to find companies that care as much about the planet as you and your family do.


About the Author

Jeffrey Anderson has a Degree in English from V.M.I., and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in Residential and Commercial construction management for 25 years before retiring to write full time. He spends his time writing, remodeling his old farmhouse, and in animal rescue.

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