Environmentally Friendly Counters & Soapstone
My husband and I really try to walk the walk when it comes to our environmental footprint. Normally we wouldn't even be re-doing our kitchen and just living with what we have, but we needed to put in a powder room for aging parents and it necessitated taking space from the kitchen. We are able to reuse almost everything in our kitchen that was here before but we do need new countertops because of reconfiguring the cabinets.
Every kind of countertop I look into seems an eco-disaster to me. I cringe at quarrying, which isn't a huge loss because I'm not a lover of granite to begin with and don't think marble will look right in our kitchen either. I think a black soapstone might look very nice, and there is a quarry in VA, so I like the local aspect as we are in PA, but I hear entirely mixed info about how well it holds up. I don't mind oiling and putting care into it, nor do I care if it has a bit of dings here and there, but I don't want it to turn milky or have big water stains. The reviews are so conflicting I just want someone to tell me if soapstone is right for me given how I just described what I am willing to put up with and not.
My first choice would be butcher block, but the floors and cabinets are wood and I think it is just going to be wood overload.
Most other "eco-friendly" countertops just seem a bit wasteful to me. They either have so many chemical binders and resins in them, or they are made from coal ash, which creeps me out, or their production uses a ton of energy.
As you can see, I am picky, picky. I just want to make sure I am checking out all my options, and I know that there is no better place to come for great opinions about this stuff than this forum!