Feng Shui embraces the art of conscious living which aligns our inner space with our outer environment. It is called mindful living.
Green design is in complete alignment with Feng Shui. Both promote honoring the Earth and leaving a lighter imprint and acknowledge that the earth is a living organism with finite resources and must be protected and honored as such. Feng Shui was the original purveyor of reduce, recycle, reuse, which is exactly what green design is about.
In this second article of my series on the Green Home Remodel, I continue my conversation with Diana Zamudio, Owner and Founder of of eco-6 design, to talk about the elements that make a product eco-friendly. I also asked her for some recommendations for eco-friendly counter top materials. Diana is a specialist in Green Design as well as Feng Shui and is the teacher for the Green Design Program at my Feng Shui Academy.
I asked Diana what makes a product eco Friendly and to give her recommendations for the best eco-friendly materials for counter tops on the market.
According to Diana, eco-friendly products should be:
- Made out of recycled content
- Can be recycled
- Do not have toxins in them
- Are sustainable (last a long time)
Recycled glass counter-tops are a wonderful example. These are made out of recycled glass and concrete and are not only environmentally friendly but are sparkling and beautiful. These durable surfaces are a non-toxic and sustainable alternative to mined or engineered stone which are beautiful, but are also depleting the earth of it’s valuable resources.
They are resin and plastic free and will not fade with exposure to direct sunlight or UV rays. You can use them for for kitchen counter tops, back splashes, bathroom vanities, tabletops, conference tables, reception areas, and any other surface where stone could be used. Each pre-cast slab can be cut, shaped, inlaid and mounted like natural or engineered stones. They can be honed or sandblasted to add extra texture to the finished product.
What I love most about these gorgeous eco-friendly counter tops is that they add a wonderful Feng Shui element to any interior. Every time you walk by your counter top made out of these materials you will be reminded of how your decision to use this particular item helped prevent it from hitting our land fills and save our precious natural resources.
This is where Feng Shui and green design are so compatible. A lot of Feng Shui is about positive affirmations. i.e. having things in our space that make us feel good when we look at them. When you look at these lovely counter tops you will be reminded that your decision to use these products made a positive impact on our environment.
For those of you who are looking into recycled counter tops, I can recommend some wonderful products you may want to look into.
Here are a few different companies that make recycled glass counter tops. They are all made out of recycled glass and concrete, the difference is simply in the look.
Vetrazzo- I think this company has the most dramatic look because it is made with large pieces of glass. The top picture of this article is also a Vetrazzo Counter top used in a kitchen setting.
Icestone- Seems to appeal to most of our clientele because the look is less dramatic and busy and coordinates with more finishes and textures. The picture here shows the various color choices.
Fuez- Has a similar look to ice stone, although their counter tops tend to have a more honed look.
Trinity-These counter tops have more of a ‘homogenized’ look. The pieces of glass are ground very fine. It is not as obvious but this is also made of recycled glass.
Squak Mountain-This counter top looks the most like concrete. It is made of recycled glass ground up very fine along with concrete and recycled paper. This material weigh half the weight of concrete and yet has twice the strength.
All of these materials withstand heat and are perfect for kitchens and bathrooms. The prices range depending on the company and the colors selected.
Not only will these counter tops green, they can also be used to balance the five elements in the home, an important component of a Feng Shui consultation for a home or business. Use the colors to bring in the five elements of Earth, Water, Metal, Fire and Wood. (See Erica’s article on Applying the Feng Shui Five Elements to your Home) Glass is the water element, so these counter tops can be used to balance or enhance this element.
As you can see, green building products can help bring peace, harmony and health into one’s life. I like to use these beautiful counter tops as the focal point in many of my interiors. I tend to design around them to create a harmonized balance feeling which will make any one feel good. Isn’t that what we all want.. to feel good?
I know that is what I want!
Next week I will interview Diana about the best recycled flooring materials, so stay tuned!
Eco-6-design is an eco-friendly showroom in the N. California specializing in eco-friendly and green products for home and business. Diana Zamudio is both a Certified Green Design Specialist and a Certified Feng Shui Consultant and also teaches the Green Design Program at my school, the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui To find out more about Diana you are invited to go to her web site at www.eco6desgin.com
Find our more about Erica Sofrina, Feng Shui teacher, speaker and author at www.ericasofrina.com