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What's cooking? Environmental designs stir things up in the eco kitchen.

While the kitchen is the center of most American homes, it's often an afterthought when it comes to making environmental improvements. But considering that the kitchen consumes 20 to 40 percent of household energy, it's really a good place to concentrate your efforts. E, with the help of Green Pages eco-interior designers Andrew Fuston and Kim Nadel, has put together a model kitchen full of energy-saving appliances and recycled products.

The kitchen cabinets are from Becker Zeyko of Germany, recipient of the prestigious Blue Angel Award, which recognizes companies that excel in environmental manufacturing and product innovation. Engineered for beauty and durability, the cabinets come in 200 different styles, and the company ensures that no endangered hardwoods are used. Roar Vaernes, CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board.  of Becker Zeyko's U.S. subsidiary, says the cabinets are 100 percent free of formaldehyde, a carcinogen carcinogen: see cancer.

Agent that can cause cancer. Exposure to one or more carcinogens, including certain chemicals, radiation, and certain viruses, can initiate cancer under conditions not completely understood.
 that "outgasses" from standard units Standard units may refer to:
  • Units of measurement
  • United States customary units
. "They're also free of polyvinyl chloride polyvinyl chloride (PVC), thermoplastic that is a polymer of vinyl chloride. Resins of polyvinyl chloride are hard, but with the addition of plasticizers a flexible, elastic plastic can be made.  (PVC PVC: see polyvinyl chloride.
 in full polyvinyl chloride

Synthetic resin, an organic polymer made by treating vinyl chloride monomers with a peroxide.
), which forms a poisonous gas if there's a fire in the home," Vaernes says. "Our cabinets can safely return to Mother Earth as ashes." All packaging is recyclable, as are the cabinets themselves.

The dishwasher is from Sweden's ASKO, and its most distinctive feature is its reluctance to waste water. Conventional dishwashers use up to 10 gallons in a full cycle, but the ASKO gets dishes sparkling dean (thanks to a unique four-way spray system) with just 5.3 gallons. ASKO saves resources in other ways, too: Its dishwashers use 40 percent less electricity and just a tiny amount of detergent. Inner casings are made from surgical-quality stainless steel stainless steel: see steel.
stainless steel

Any of a family of alloy steels usually containing 10–30% chromium. The presence of chromium, together with low carbon content, gives remarkable resistance to corrosion and heat.
, and ASKO dishwashers are also triple-insulated, which means they're whisper-quiet in operation.

Refrigerators are typically big power wasters in U.S. kitchens, but the 25.2 cubic-foot side-by-side Whirlpool unit in the eco-kitchen exceeds federal energy standards by 38 percent. Whirlpool's new side-by-side models incorporate many new energy-saving features, and in general exceed federal energy standards by 25 percent.

In 1968, England-based Creda was the developer of the convection oven convection oven
An oven having a fan that shortens cooking time by circulating hot air uniformly around the food.
, which is often championed by professional cooks. "The convection process moves the hot air around, reducing cooking times, allowing better heat penetration and better texture," says Creda's Michael DeCamp. The Creda convection oven in the kitchen has its heat source in the rear and uses a built-in fan to circulate warmed air, resulting in an oven without "cold spots." Energy efficiency is assured, because cooking times are reduced by 30 percent and temperatures cut by 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Creda Solarspeed electric glass cooktop cook·top  
A flat cooking surface making up the top of a stove or built into a countertop, usually having electric heating elements covered by a sheet of glass.
 in the kitchen uses halogen technology (similar to household lamps and car headlights, but more powerful) for very fast, even heating. The space-saving cooktop is easy to clean and sits flush with the countertop. The Vent-A-Hood wall-mounted Emerald Series hood is super-efficient and helps keep the kitchen dean and odor-free. Complementing the cooktop and hood is a back-splash made from Terra-Green recycled glass tiles Glass tiles are pieces of glass formed into consistent shapes. Glass was used in mosaics as early as 2500 BC, but it took until the 3rd Century BC before innovative artisans in Greece, Persia and India created glass tiles. . Terra-Green, an Indiana-based company, is the only manufacturer in the world to mix ceramics with 55 percent recycled glass (the process is called Glass Fusion) to create a unique textured material, sold as the Tierra Classic line. Terra Green recovers and recycles all the ceramic wastes that are byproducts of manufacturing.

The eco kitchen sports a hard-wearing Big City Forest butcher block Noun 1. butcher block - a thick wooden slab formed by bonding together thick laminated strips of unpainted hardwood
butcher board

slab - block consisting of a thick piece of something
 countertop, made from reclaimed maple. Big City Forest estimates that the wood it had reused by May 1996 - more than five million board feet - saved the equivalent of more than 1,100 acres of timberland. Tap water in the green kitchen is purified - not filtered - by General Ecology's Seagull seagull

a noisy, gregarious bird that frequents the seashore. Web-footed, hook-billed, white with gray wings. Member of the family Laridae and of the genus Larus.
 IV X-1 system, which is federally certified to remove cysts, bacteria and viruses.

CONTACTS: ASKO, 903 North Bowser Bowser may mean:
  • Bowser, British Columbia, an unincorporated community on Vancouver Island
  • Bowser and Blue
  • Bowser and Blitz from C.O.P.S.
  • Bowser (Nintendo), the main villain in the Mario series of video games.
, #200, Richardson, TX 75081/(972)644-8595; Becker Zeyko, 1030 Marina Village Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501/(510)865-1616; Big City Forest, 1809 Carter Avenue, Bronx, NY 10457/(718)731-3931; Creda, 5700 West Touhy Avenue, Niles, IL 60714/(847)6478024; General Ecology, 151 Sheree Boulevard, Exton, PA 19341/(800)441-8166; Green Pages, 399 Fourth Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215/(718)369-2578; Terra-Green Technologies, 1650 Progress Drive, Richmond, IN 47374/(765)935-4760; Vent-A-Hood, 1000 North Greenville, Richardson, TX 75083/(972)235-5201; Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Harbor, MI 49022/(800)253-1301.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Earth Action Network, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Motavalli, Jim
Date:Jul 1, 1997
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