Green kitchens: How green is stainless steel?
In our last green kitchen post, we take a look at just how green stainless steel is to use to deck out a sustainable kitchen, and find out what materials Sydney couple Vanessa and Dan Winter have selected to use in their green kitchen.
Here's how they assessed it:Vanessa and Dan have assessed the sustainability of plywood, bamboo and stainless steel based on three indicators:
Stainless steel is a highly recyclable and recycled product, helping greatly with the sustainability of the primary resources required for it’s production.
One of the downsides about stainless steel is that it typically can’t be sourced within Australia.
Embodied energy is a measure that has traditionally been used to assess the energy expended in all aspects of a products manufacture, including raw materials and transport.
However, it does not look at the energy potential of a product, nor does it consider the source of the energy or the climate change impacts of the energy source – meaning that while a product could appear quite high in embodied energy, it may have been manufactured with 100% green energy, so think carefully before you choose not to use a product based on its high embodied energy classification alone.
One of the best things about stainless steel is that very few chemicals are used in its production.
Ultimately, the most environmentally friendly materials are corrosion resistant and durable, have high-recycled content, and provide long service life and reduce resource use.
Stainless steel provides all these benefits.
Stainless steel is also a sustainable material in the environmental sense of the word; it’s normally made with 60% recycled content, which provides savings in the form of lower energy costs and reduced carbon dioxide within the manufacturing process.
Stainless steel is 100% recyclable and can be recycled back to stainless steel melting shops for conversion to new high quality products, which truly contributes to sustainable development.
And due to high levels of recycling, there is significant reduction in the impact on land fill disposal of stainless steel, further reducing it’s environmental impact and making it self-sustaining.
It’s these qualities that make it green enough to be used by Vanessa and Dan in their green kitchen.