Need new flooring? Want to upgrade your cabinets? Consider using some of the beautiful and eco-friendly woods in your project. "Green remodeling" is more than obtaining tax credits and energy bill reductions; you'll be using materials that look as good as their environmental benefits and help you create a healthier home without off-gassing and use of toxic materials. For wood materials, such as flooring, cabinetry, and even structural members, using products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a start.
Flooring that's sustainable has beautiful, artistic characteristics. The woven poplar flooring from Ecotimber is composed of 100% FSC-certified recycled furniture scraps kiln-dried and cold-pressed with a hardening resin without added urea formaldehyde. The tongue-and-groove planks are 9/16 inch thick and between 3 and 4" wide. They can be installed with nails or glued down. Plyboo makes strand FSC-certified bamboo plywood and flooring that are urea formaldehyde-free.
All of the cabinets made by Neil Kelley are available with no-added-urea-formaldehyde agriboard case and drawer materials; FSC-certified wood and veneers; and low-VOC glues, adhesives, and finishes. Having your contractor or cabinetmaker use wood veneers over formaldehyde-free substrate allows you to create exotic and spectacular patterns without the high cost or waste of using exotic lumber.
For the outdoors (and some creative indoor applications) FSC-certified machiche hardwood decking is beautiful, easy to install, and naturally resistant to decay-causing organisms and is moderately resistant to dry-wood termites. The wood is available in 2-foot-by-2-foot solid squares or in 5/4-by-6-inch planks. The open-pored, dense hardwood comes in colors ranging from yellow/tan to medium brown reds and dark reds; over time, lighter spots darken to a reddish brown hue