Granite and marble countertop must be quarried, which requires a lot of energy. Transport also can be expensive and environmentally detrimental if the stone needs to be shipped a great distance. Using indigenous stone from salvage or remnants significantly reduces environmental impact. Granite is virtually indestructible, provides a high-end designer look and is heatproof. But it also is very expensive, can crack and requires periodic sealing. Marble likewise provides a high-end look and is waterproof and heatproof. On the downside, it`s expensive, can scratch and stains easily unless professionally sealed.
The manufacturing of wood countertops has relatively little environmental impact, because wood doesn`t need to be processed, only sawn, which uses a small amount of energy. Choosing wood countertops that are certified as "sustainably harvested" by the Forest Stewardship Council also helps protect wood as a natural resource. Wood countertops are easily cleaned with soap and water and have inherent properties that protect them from bacteria build up. Wood also can serve as a built-in cutting surface. Maintenance includes oiling regularly and sanding and resealing scratches as needed.
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