For a healthy start to your day, it’s hard to top a crisp bowl of Wheaties soaking in fresh milk. Unless your cereal has already been soaking in formaldehyde.
And the odds are pretty high that all your foods are soaking up both formaldehyde and VOCs – toxic chemicals that are suspected allergins and carcinogens. Modern kitchen cabinets are commonly made from painted or veneered particleboard, and those materials are likely to emit petrochemical solvents, formaldehyde, and other chemicals. “I read an article recently in the New York Times talking about formaldehyde,” said Jermain Todd of Mwanzi Green Building Supply. “It said that we’re now at a point where formaldehyde laced materials, especially MDF sheets, have been in our lives long enough that we’re starting to see the side effects. It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years.”
That’s why many families are starting to look for cabinetry that is formaldehyde and VOC (volatile organic compound) free. And that, in turn, is why Todd introduced Greenhaus Cabinets, a toxin-free line of cabinets that is also drawing praise for its elegant appeal. The cabinets are designed with a contemporary or minimalist aesthetic that allows the wood and the color make an elegant statement in either modern or contemporary kitchens. At present, there are three collections: Mod, HC, and Lux.
“We built our initial line of cabinets for a certain aesthetic, a certain look,” Todd described. “It’s a transitional design; not extremely contemporary and not extremely traditional. It’s a midway. Most people have liked the shaker style, and kitchen and bath stores will tell you that’s what people are going for these days.” And history tells us that a no-frills look does become more popular during recessionary times.
Greenhaus is also capable of offering cabinets made from locally grown wood, collected from downed trees by the city’s forestry department. “This lets us work with some really cool species, like sassafras, which grows like crazy here,” Todd remarked. “It has a really cool and unique grain, with a lot of rings in it. The texture is very intense, and it rivals a knotty pine. The color is a mix between a hard maple and walnut.” Greenhaus just finished a customer’s kitchen using silver maple cabinets from a tree that had been right down the street from her home.
Unlike other brands, Greenhaus Cabinets are made from wood that is free of the urea formaldehyde treatment commonly added during manufacture, and the glues and wood finishes are free of petrochemical solvents. The cabinets are available in FSC certified wood, and may contribute to certification under LEED and other green building programs.
Greenhaus Cabinets are available at Mwanzi Green Building Supply and from Henry Plumbing Supply.