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Sustainable Kitchen Décor: Recycled Countertops and Tiles, Natural Fiber Rugs

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Guest Post by Chris Long*

Going green in the kitchen means so much more than mixing in a few additional Spring Mix salads and adding a couple extra Granny Smith apples. And as the recycled glass tile samples (pictured above) show, becoming eco-friendlier in your cooking space has never been more beautiful.

So when you’re looking to revamp your kitchen into a more earth-embracing version of itself, consider the following options comprised of all things eco-friendly, sustainable and simply sublime!

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Recycled Glass Countertops

There’s no better way to add a bit of bling and sparkle to your kitchen than by incorporating beautiful recycled glass countertops and backsplashes!

Containing (on average) 80-90% post-consumer glass pieces and shards embedded into a cement binder, recycled glass countertops have been growing in popularity since the mid-1990s. Exceptionally strong and durable, these countertops are 100% unique since no two of them can be identical. They are available with a wide variety of colors (you can find some with every color of the rainbow) or more tailored to a single shade or color family. Finally, although prices vary, expect to pay upwards of $50-$125 per square foot for these exquisite beauties.

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Recycled Glass Wall Tiles

For recycled glass tiles, like these by Studio E, you have a bit more control over tile and color placement which means you can create all sorts of intricate patterns and designs! They are formed into the same shapes as their non-recycled cousins (subway tile, brick, mosaic, geometric, etc.) and can come with the same finishes (transparent, opaque, iridescent, matte, etc.) for just the right amount of lustre.

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Natural-Fiber Rugs

Area rugs are great for easing the strain on your feet and back when you’re chopping all of those veggies on your bamboo cutting boards, for instance, so select those made out of natural fibers. Home Decorators.com has a wide variety of rugs and floor coverings (including selections from Martha Stewart Living) made from jute, organic cotton, seagrass, sisal and bamboo that are as easy on the environment as they are on the eyes (and your joints!).

What other renewable and recyclable materials have you seen to make fabulous, eco-friendly kitchens?

*This post was provided by a Home Depot employee, but was edited and vetted by Eco-Chick editorial staff, and we approve of the product or products mentioned above.

Chris Long is a store associate at a Home Depot in the Chicago suburbs. Chris has been helping customers since 2000 and has interests in topics ranging from kitchen cabinets to outdoor living and doors and windows.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.