As kitchens become more sophisticated in design and manufacture, the quality of the materials is becoming more of a relevant comparative feature. Similar hardware, doors and bench tops are pretty common among reputable kitchen manufacturers, so apart from service and design, one now has an environmental consideration.
Board is the biggest component of the kitchen. There are various qualities of board to consider.
Firstly there is moisture resistant and standard board. High moisture resistant board (HMR) should be a standard feature of the of the board used in the manufacture of the kitchen. Some companies choose to use a standard or non moisture resistant board except in the sink unit. This is a cost saving choice. A better quality kitchen should have HMR board throughout the kitchen. It should be noted that moisture resistant board is moisture resistant and not water proof. It would not be used to build a boat. A simple test of the board would be to submerge a piece of board in cold water for 1 hour. Remove it and leave it for 24 hours and it should only thicken very slightly. Standard board will expand substantially. The moisture resistant board has more resins and glue and has a green dye to distinguish it from the standard board. The resins have formaldehyde and this is leeched out slowly over time. Formaldehyde although at very low, safe levels is not environmentally friendly.
This brings up the environmental property of the board.
E0 or E1 board has zero emission from the board. The resins used are therefore more environmentally friendly. This feature of the board can be confirmed by the manufacturer by means of certification by an accredited testing laboratory. The certification will soon become an advertised feature in kitchen showrooms as environmental properties become more widely accepted and understood.
Environmentally, all particle board and MDF is made from plantation, fast growing trees, making the board used an environmentally sustainable product.
Another little bit you can do for our planet is to chose responsibly.