Today I decided to visit The Zero Point — a store that sells a lot of different merchandise for personal and home needs. There are two sections to the store — the front holds everyday products such as cleaning supplies, baby and children’s clothes, some reuseable BPA free #5 plastic recycled and recyclable plastic plates and cups, while the back of the store is dedicated to building supplies. The different areas of focus might seem a little unusual until you realize that everything in the store is easier on the environment than its traditional counterpart (I’d say “green” or “eco-friendly” but I think we’re all getting a little numb to those terms). And many of the products are generally hard to find.
Being an eco-building material enthusiast, I went right past the olive oils, stainless steel containers, natural soaps and natural cleaning supplies and headed straight for the flooring and countertop section. The great thing about this store is that you can do a lot of your green building shopping in one place. Below is a brief description of some of the products this store carries.
Flooring: The Zero Point carries a line of flooring products called Eco-timber. Eco Timber was one of the first flooring companies to be FSC-certified, way back in 1993. All of its wood comes from managed forests in North America, while its bamboo comes from one plantation and isn’t harvested until it is 5-7 years old — which means it is much more durable than many bamboo flooring products on the market.
Another flooring product is reclaimed hardwood flooring sourced from old barns and other buildings no longer in use in Ontario. This is beautiful, rustic looking flooring available in Antique Hemlock and Elm, in different stains (price: $8.75/square foot).
Countertops: IceStone is a composite of 80% post-consumer glass and 20% concrete. It comes in 29 different colours and is stunning to look at.
PaperStone looks like a laminate countertop but it’s actually made of compressed paper. It’s durable and longlasting and comes in several different colours.
Paints and finishes: American Clay products are a natural plaster that is tinted into tranquil pastel colours. Because clay is derived from a natural mineral it allows your walls to breathe, and is a natural moisture inhibitor. There are no VOCs emitted from clay, and the air in rooms with this plaster is cleaner than in painted rooms. This product is very popular for babies’ rooms and playrooms (primer: $80 per gallon, $295 per 5 gallons; $80-$160 per 50lb bag — coverage approximately 200 square feet).
Yolo Colourhouse paint is a high quality, low odour acrylic paint with no harmful chemicals and no added solvents. Yolo Colorhouse paint is zero VOC, even when colour pigments are added. (1 quart: $21.06, 1 gallon: $64.14).
LED lighting: While not very popular yet, LED lighting offers a lot of advantages to CFLs: longer lifespan, no added mercury, and even lower wattage while producing stronger light than CFLs. While the cost of each bulb isn’t cheap, the fact that their lifespan is 40,000 to 100,000 hours. That’s a long time! There are bulbs available to replace 60Watt incandescent, 100 Watt spot lights, 75 Watt spot lights and 50 Watt halogen lights. I plan on replacing my 50 Watt halogen lights one bulb at a time, as they burn out.
Kitchen cabinetry: The Zero Point will also arrange for cabinetry quotes from a local kitchen company that works with formaldehyde free, FSC certified MDF board.
Furniture: Around the store are beautiful pieces of hand-painted wooden furniture that is available for sale. The pieces are made from local reclaimed wood.
The Zero Point is located at 1590 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON, 416-602-6586