Green Remodeling: How To Make Your Kitchen More SustainableBob Gorman November 2, 2015
There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when it becomes patently obvious that the kitchen needs remodeling. Today, thanks to amazing breakthroughs in technology and a greater understanding of the environment, it’s now possible to give your kitchen a completely green makeover without spending a fortune.
Below are X ideas on how to make your newly-remodeled kitchen a more sustainable part of your home lifestyle:
One great way to make your kitchen more green is to use fluorescent and low-energy in all of your lighting fixtures. If possible, it’s also a great idea to open up spaces to the outside, taking advantage of natural light. Nothing makes a kitchen more cheerful and sustainable than when it is bathed in gorgeous, natural sunlight. Another great way to add more light to any kitchen is to open up the center space, allowing for a more aesthetic and visually-pleasing feel.
Most people renovating their kitchens start by choosing a new countertop. After years of use and abuse, countertops lose their luster, and can become chipped, cracked and broken. One of the best green choices you can make when choosing a new counter top is to choose one made from recycled materials.
Today, you can choose from a wide variety of green counter tops, including ones made from recycled paper or wood. Some other great choices are counter tops made from bamboo or Marmoleum, which is a special kind of hardened linoleum made to look just like marble.
One great way to make your kitchen more sustainable is to install low-flow faucets. These technological marvels add more air to the water so you use less without even noticing. Most eco-friendly low-flow faucets are designed to use two gallons of water per minute or less when fully opened.
Another simple tip is to fix leaky faucets to save water. If you’re interested on how to replace a taps ceramic disc, you can follow this handy guide.
Low VOC Paint
Nothing adds new life to a remodeled kitchen like a fresh coat of paint. Unfortunately, many paints are highly toxic for the environment. Thankfully, today many major paint manufacturers offer low-VOC versions, minimizing your impact on the environment. VOCs are volatile organic compounds, and add that heady chemical smell to fresh paint as they outgas into your home. By choosing a paint made with a minimal amount of VOCs, your house will not only smell better, but be emitting far fewer toxic chemicals into the air.
While it may seem counterintuitive at first, a quality low-energy dishwasher can actually use less water than washing dishes by hand. Look for the Energy Star rating on every appliance before choosing one that best fits your remodeled kitchen.
After you install your green dishwasher, be sure to only use it when it is full, to minimize excess water use. Today’s energy-efficient models are now powerful enough to handle excess food particles and residue, so there’s no need to pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the machine. Skip the heated dry option, and allow your dishes to air dry to save electricity.
The obvious choice for a remodeled green kitchen is to choose an energy-efficient model. But after it’s installed, it’s also important to use it properly. Consult the user’s manual to make sure that you’re not setting the temperature too low. Another great idea is to use glass containers with sealable lids to store leftovers and other items in your refrigerator. Glass is a better insulator than plastic, and will help keep foods cold without making your refrigerator work as hard.
Composting is the art of separating food scraps that can be recycled from the rest of your garbage. When remodeling your kitchen, make sure there’s a special place to keep a composting bin next to your ordinary trashcan. By following a few simple steps, it’s easy to turn large amounts of kitchen waste into healthy, usable potting soil instead of putting it out on the curb to be hauled off and dumped in a landfill.
By taking the time to plan ahead about how you can cut down on excess water and energy use, you can make your new kitchen the very model of sustainability. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it’ll also give you a well-earned sense of satisfaction for having done your part to minimize your impact on the environment.