Hi, Jim Coshow here with Dunn Lumber. Today we're welcoming Cindy Draper back to the Dunn Solutions blog to offer her expertise on everything to consider when planning an eco-friendly kitchen or kitchen remodel. Cindy is a marketing manager for Canyon Creek Cabinet Company, a recognized leader in the kitchen and bathroom cabinet industry. Dunn Lumber is proud to offer fully customizable cabinets by Canyon Creek. Here's Cindy.

A new kitchen or kitchen remodel is a big decision—you want to ensure you create a space that not only looks great, but is also efficient, convenient, and provides a healthy home. A new kitchen is a long-term investment, so selecting the right options for yourself, your family, and for the environment is particularly important. Today, we’re looking specifically at cabinets. Here are some considerations to help you make responsible, eco-friendly decisions when it comes to choosing the best cabinets for your kitchen.

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Sustainable Woods

Canyon Creek offers two sustainable wood species in its cabinetry lines: beech and bamboo. Beech is a plentiful wood product that is sustainably harvested under some of the toughest forestry laws in the world. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on earth, and is a rapidly renewable resource. Both are good choices when it comes to selecting a sustainable wood product for your cabinets. 

Eco-friendly Wood Veneers

An alternative to solid wood, veneers are a thin slice of wood adhered to a substrate to simulate the look of real wood. Exotic wood veneers offered by Canyon Creek provide the beauty of rare woods while helping to protect endangered rainforests. It's a great way to get the look of wood while preserving species. 


Canyon Creek provides a GREENGUARD-certified laminate program in a variety of solids, textures, and simulated wood grains. Greenlam uses alternative fuels and recycled materials to help support a clean indoor air environment for homes—so you can breathe easily. 

Low-VOC Finish on Eco-friendly Cabinets

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the potentially harmful, carbon-based chemical compounds that come from a variety of sources of household products. You can help to limit your exposure by purchasing cabinets with a low-VOC finish from a regulated source.  

Factory-Applied Finish on Eco-friendly Cabinets

You want a durable, quality finish that is safe for your home and the environment. All cabinet finishing should be done off-site to ensure that any VOC content has dissipated before the cabinets are installed in your home.  

No Added Urea Formaldehyde (NAUF)

Formaldehyde is a natural-occurring element (VOC) found in all wood products, while urea formaldehyde can be found in the adhesives used in the cabinet box construction. Products claiming to be formaldehyde-free are actually saying that no added urea formaldehyde (NAUF) was used in the manufacturing process. Canyon Creek offers a NAUF box option, meaning that all of the adhesives used in the cabinet box and drawers are NAUF.

CARB-Compliant Eco-friendly Cabinets

All of Canyon Creek’s products are in compliance with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements; one of the toughest standards in the world for placing limits on formaldehyde emissions in products.

Kitchen Recycling Centers

Recycling items such as paper, plastic, and glass is essential to making your home and community greener. Ensure your new kitchen design includes space to keep your trash, food scraps, and recycling hidden and neatly organized.

Universal Design

Incorporating design features now that will accommodate family members in a wide range of ages, sizes, and physical abilities will help you and your family age in place while minimizing the need for future remodeling.  

how to choose eco friendly kitchen cabinets

KCMA-Certified Environmental Stewardship Program Member

It’s very important to select a cabinet company that is certified by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP). The ESP is the only nationally accredited environmental certification program that specifically focuses on kitchen and bath cabinets. Canyon Creek was instrumental in the creation of the ESP and, in 2006, was the first cabinet company awarded the ESP certificate. Companies that are certified in this voluntary program are going above and beyond to develop environmentally preferable products that contribute to the well-being of the environment.  

There are many definitions of what constitutes “green” cabinetry choices, and it’s pretty much up to you to decide what works for you, your family, and your budget. As proof of its more than 20-year commitment to sustainable manufacturing, Canyon Creek has continually received state and industry awards for its cabinetry and environmental practices.  

Read more from Cindy on the Dunn Solutions blog.

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