One of the biggest challenges we've found lately is balancing our dreams of saving the planet one household item at a time (yes, I see the irony), and trying to do so with very little dinero. The truth is it’s not easy but Brendon and I have definitely found some ways to save cash and the planet at the same time. This weekend we did it with our countertops. *Want to learn more about what makes a good countertop? Check out this link.
I first saw Paperstone when I went to the store Greenworks Building Supply about a year ago. It was BEAUTIFUL and the most eco-friendly option to be found. The countertops were made from – you guessed it – paper and they were as hard as, well, stone. Sheets of post-consumer waste paper (this is the stuff that’s already been used more than once) are dyed using organic pigments that produce a range of colours from deep tan to a slate black. The sheets are then layered one top of each other and pressed under high heat. A phenolic resin made from cashew nuts is used to keep the paper together and then the finished product is coasted with a combination of carnauba and bees waxes to protect it.
I was in heaven and I wanted it but the price tag was way up there with granite and soooo out of our budget. There was no way we could afford it. That was until our friends, the cheapest environmentalist I know, told us about the Paperstone factory specials. These are incredible discounts on countertops that have small imperfections like divots (like what a golf ball might make on a wall) or blemishes which refer to a slight discolouration in the product. The reality is though that these imperfections are tiny and from what we found, in many cases imperceptible.
So Sunday night we drove 6 hours to Hoquiam. Does anyone know where Hoquiam, Washington is? Don’t worry. Neither did I until about a week ago. The village of Hoquiam is home to the one and only Paperstone factory in the world. It really is a hole in the wall and not much to look at but the factory, now that’s another story. What an amazing site! It was incredible to see the process in action and the mountain of Paperstone sheets being prepared for shipment across North America.
The super friendly Hoquians pulled out a few of the sheets that I had picked out online and we quickly decided on a beautiful Gunmetal (grey) sheet with a ‘blemish’ which we couldn’t find even looking under the UV light. The cost to us - $392. In the store this would have been upwards of $2500. If you add the cost of one tank of gas $40 (thank God for the VW diesel), a stay in the Econolodge for $45 and the cost to get it home $150, we will saved almost 80% off the retail price.
Man I love a good deal. Isn't our sheet beautiful!