As a consumer, you have the power to choose materials for your home that support your beliefs. Choosing sustainable materials is one way to make your voice heard and reduce your impact on the environment. There are many factors that can make products sustainable, including a long life span, the ability to renew, or minimal energy to bring to the marketplace. Here are 5 reasons granite and other types of natural stone are a sustainable choice.
1. Granite Is a Natural Product with No Harmful Byproducts
Unlike other countertop materials on the market like concrete and laminate, granite is completely natural. No other resources or materials are necessary to create granite countertops. There are no harmful toxins or chemicals used to quarry and finish granite, an important component of sustainability. For instance, laminate goes through a long and toxic manufacturing process that involves resins and formaldehyde. This plastic manufacturing process produces many byproducts, including some that are hazardous. The resins produce toxic emissions.
2. Granite Can Be Quarried Locally and Regionally
Even sustainable materials can contribute to greenhouse gases during transportation. What many people do not realize is that granite is often available at a local or regional level. There are natural-stone quarry sites within 500 miles of most building sites in the U.S. and Canada. The United States is the leading producer of natural stone in the world, with 276 quarries in 34 states.
3. Granite Is Quarried and Manufactured with Sustainable Techniques
The natural-stone industry has adopted new technology to conserve natural resources, avoid pollution, and minimize waste when granite is quarried and fabricated. Once the raw stone is removed from the earth, diamond wire saws cut the stone into blocks. A polisher then grinds the rough surface to a smooth finish using rotating abrasive pads. Finally, routers cut edge profiles on the slab using a spinning blade covered with diamonds.
4. Granite Lasts a Lifetime
The life span of a product plays an important role in its sustainability. Natural-stone care is easy to manage, and caring for granite countertops properly can help them last for a very long time. Because granite can easily last as long as the home, choosing natural stone reduces waste that goes to a landfill. Choosing granite countertops in your home reduces the need to replace materials as they wear out. While stone is more expensive than other countertops up front, it pays for itself over time by reducing future replacement costs.
5. Granite Countertops Can Be Recycled
When it is time to replace granite, it can be completely recycled. There are many ways stone can be salvaged and recycled to reduce the water, energy, and resources needed to generate a new product. Old stone products like countertops can be reformed into retaining walls, paver stones, small stones for mosaics and driveways, and more.
If you have granite countertops your home, make sure you care for them properly using a stone-safe granite cleaner. Get the Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® Value Pack to ensure you have plenty of cleaner on-hand. All of the products at Granite Gold® are safe to use on granite, slate, marble, travertine, and other types of natural stone. Call 1-800-475-STONE today to learn more.