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The Green Tour of Italy: Continues in the Kitchen
Stunningly beautiful, brilliantly engineered, and a deep, deep shade of green.
On our last day in Milan, where design is religion, we visited Valcucine, a kitchen cabinet showroom that also happens to be an eco bookstore.
Sustainability is so imbedded in this company's history and culture that its environmental mission is prominently featured on its home page before the product photos and the sales pitch.
"Thirty years of sustainability, putting aesthetics and creativity, the satisfaction of the user's needs aimed at functionality, ergonomics and safety, to the fore. Valcucine promotes a system that balances the use and the restoration of environmental resources and savings on raw materials, favoring a kitchen design based on dematerialization, recyclability or reutilization, reduction of toxic emissions and long product life (the basic principles of eco-compatibility)."
Since its founding in 1080, Valcucine has lived by its guidelines: respect for man, respect for the environment and technological innovation. There's not an iota of greenwashing here. They truly walk the talk.
"Being part of the 15 percent of the world that consumes 80 percent of resources, we should worry about the lack of resources in the future, i.e. when the rest of the now-developing world will be able to afford the same lifestyle we now enjoy, existing resources will just not be enough for everyone. This is why Valcucine promotes the use of technologies aimed at a diminished consumption of raw materials and energy during production and utilization."
Dematerialization--the minimum consumption of raw materials--is a guiding principle. Extra light cabinet doors are made from an aluminum structural frame with minimum cross-section bars that are extremely sturdy and a finishing panel that is only 2mm thick verses the traditional MDF construction.
Valcucine makes recycling easy by designing its products so that the materials can be easily identified and separated when discarded at the end of their life cycle. The base units base units are made entirely of glass and aluminum: completely recyclable and with no toxic emissions.
Worried about buying product manufactured in Italy? Not to worry. Valcucine ships its cabinets knocked down, significantly reducing both packaging and volume.
What a fantastic and inspirational way to end our Italian journey, surrounded by beauty and a profound respect for nature. Arreviderci!