The Kitchen Designer

Quartz Made in USA Gets A+

Quartz Produced in the USA Gets A+

cambria%20quartz.jpgCambria produces the only quartz countertop made in the USA and lives up to their mantra: Live Green, Live Life, Live Cambria. American made quartz equals less of a carbon footprint with regard to transporting the product. “At Cambria, we are committed to environmental responsibility in both our product offerings and businesses practices,” says a Cambria spokesman.

They’re not kidding.

Their quartz is nonporous which means harsh chemicals are not necessary to seal or polish the surface. Cambria is certified GREENGUARD for children and Schools certified. GREENGUARD is a nonprofit organication that oversees acceptable indoor air standards for indoor products. In addition to their product being green, they run a very green office and plant. One hundred percent of the water used in the production process is recycled! Their fleet of vehicles is hybrid, their shipping crates are recycled and scrap material is collected and used as road base for local construction projects. I'm impressed!

In addition there is an on-site drainer pond that they use to water and beautify the plant grounds. All office waste is recycled including computers and batteries. Quartz is a popular choice for kitchen countertops because it is maintenance free and stain resistant - that means no wine stains or grape juice stains.  It's even impervious to coffee and nail polish!   In addition, as the strongest natural stone found on the Earth's surface, it is durable. Cambria gets an A+ for being kitchen friendly and for it's impressive green efforts!

Best, Maureen (Susan's assistant)



Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 11 years ago

Water Filtration - Move Away Fro...


Here is a post from my assistant, Maureen, who is a strong advocate for green living. We'll be hearing from Maureen from time to time. Give her a little welcome too! Good work Maureen!

Thirty-Eight years after the inception of Earth Day, it has gone mainstream with events in countries all over the globe. Flooding the Blogosphere, networks and print media, Green has gone global, political and earned a former Vice President a Nobel Peace Price. It also made a strong presence at this year’s KBIS where Green was a hot theme as social consciousness entered the Kitchen Design world in a multitude of ways.

Intrinsically, we all want to lessen our environmental footprint – how does a mere mortal go about doing such (especially a SUV driving suburban mom)? Although not a terribly glam topic –we can begin our personal green campaigns in a very tangible and quantitative way. We can move away from the bottle!

An Inconvenient Truth

  • Americans used 50 billions plastic water bottles last year – 40 billion of them ended up in landfills.
  • To distribute the bottled water that’s hauled to and fro within the U.S. each week required the equivalent of 37,800 18 wheel trucks.
  • Worldwide, 2.7 million tons of plastic are used each year to make water bottles, and in the United States, less than 20% of these are recycled.
  • Americans throw away 22 billion water bottles each year, over 60 million a day.
  • The 29 billion plastic bottles manufactured in the United States each year require the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of crude oil.
  • In 2006, American spent nearly $11 billion on over 8 billion gallons of bottled water.

Ouch! - from an environmental and financial standpoint. Plastic bottles are made from fossil fuels; fossil fuels are used to bottle the water, deliver the water to the stores, used to get consumers to the stores to buy the water and also used to get the garbage trucks to the homes to pick up the bottles. If the bottled are recycled, then you got it, more fossil fuels! Ok I am officially riddled with guilt about the countless bottles of water served to dinner guests, tucked into lunch boxes (OK bags that I didn't recycle) and taken to countless sporting events (yes in the SUV). In addition to the environmental impact, the cost is something to be considered in this teetering economy that’s gasping for air.

Helia-Faucet---Cold.gifTaking Back The Tap

Victoria Kaplan is the senior organizer with Food and Water Watch – a nonprofit that recent launched a Take Back the Tap campaign to get consumers to ditch bottled water. “The bottled water industry spends millions of dollars a year to convince us that their product is somehow safer or healthier than tap water, when in fact that is just not true,|” says Kaplan. Did you know that bottled water is subject to less-stringent government standards for quality than tap water? That’s not marketing hype, according to National Geographic Green Guide, as much as 40 percent of bottled water started out as the same tap water that we get at home. Americans are beginning to get the message that bottled water is expensive (more expensive per gallon than gasoline), not necessary safer than the H20 that flows from the tap water and burdened with incalculable environmental problems.

Everpure showcased at this year’s KBIS where they offered a powerful visual presentation of the environmental impact of bottled water. Although in the business of filtering water for restaurants for over 75 years, they now tout several products for the home. The H-300 Water Filtration System employs Everpure’s Micro-Pure® filtration removing impurities and providing what they say is the best tasting water available.

Although secondary to health issues, taste is critical when it comes to cooking and creating sauces, breads, pastries and making stocks and even cocktails.  Home filtration units are a great step forward for both concerting cooks and envrionmentals alike.  If you move away from the bottle, the results will be palpable. 

The Everpure Exubera System dispenses chilled still or sparkling water right from the tap.

For more information about water and reusable bottles and canteens:

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 11 years ago

Dance In Your Kitchen!

Ok, I'm feeling the weekend coming on!

We were "this close" to going to New Orleans this weekend for the JazzFest. We've gone 6 times since 1995. We MAY even go for a quick one nighter next weekend. Instead, this weekend, our daughter her husband, and their dog (who's afraid of our cat who gets into the tiger stalking stance at the sight of his rustling tail) are coming out for the weekend. I have declared this weekend, JazzFest weekend on the blog, and we will definitely have the music cranked up ALL WEEKEND, while we are all cooking together, with wine flowing, and as I have it on right now on my computer, as there will be LIVE programming from the Fest!

Here's where you go to take part in your own version of dancing in the kitchen while you're cooking this weekend! Go to WWOZ! 

To me, that's when a kitchen really lives up to its full potential...loved ones, music, wine, good food, pets, what else is there?? Enjoy!


Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 11 years ago

KBIS 2008 - More Pantry Love!

From KBIS, I have too many fun images of organizational finds for the pantry not to share them with you, so there is more for today. And, if you're like me, I think it's so much fun to discover new ways of organizing (yes, FUN.) Keeps the insides of our cabinets interesting, so that they, oh let's take a stretch here, do their JOB to amuse their pantry masters, right? Not to mention adding efficiency to the mix. Poor pantries, SO much work to do! I think my own pantry definitely needs therapy, it's so mixed up...

Here we go again. Would you prefer this for your corner wall cabinet (it pulls out!):
















OR THIS....! No contest!

















Also from Knape & Vogt is this super handy pull out tray divider...

















From Rev-A-Shelf, new (as all these products are) for 2008 is the answer to your pan storage...













Here's a cool corner solution from Sidelines


















Also from Sidelines, a neat wine/bottle storage device/piece/unit/thing
















And now for the fireworks images!!! Again, from Sidelines, and you'll see a variety of organizational solutions for closets and for kitchens and anywhere else you need to organize your stuff...enjoy!

sidelines%20a.jpg Sidelines_8b.jpg

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 11 years ago

KBIS 2008 - In The Pantry!

I had this post all put together day before yesterday. A couple of days prior I downloaded a beta firefox3 that I read was stable, almost ready to be released (well, June) yadayada. Then, I noticed a very slow internet connection. Did I make the connection between the browser and the slow internet? Not until today when I decided to try explorer to see how that ran. Made an appointment with the ISP and everything for this Saturday! Sheesh! So, we're up and running again, nice and fast. Here we go...

Let me tell you, I WORKED that show, KBIS! Ok, so I couldn't stop snapping pictures with my new camera, truth be told, BUT, my intentions were noble...and so many things were so inspiring. So, let's look at what's new for inside our kitchen cabinets and pantries.

Here's a cool new mechanism thing to allow your doors to sit at any position and stay there. No worries about snapping up or down or whatever. It's by Hafele, who makes so many useful and modern products for the kitchen.


Also from Hafele, a pull down shelf to access those hard to reach, and possibly, heavy items from the upper shelves of your wall cabinets.



And, one more from Hafele, a chefs pantry pantry insert with a new finish for the shelves. From the Arena champagne collection. The shelves are coated with a special finish which causes items NOT to move around. It's a good thing. :)



From Knape & Vogt, would you rather reach in and use this in your corner cabinet...


 OR THIS.....



More organization tools tomorrow. Just wait till you see THESE....
Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 11 years ago
Certified Kitchen Designer