8 Ideas for a Green KitchenLynda Cosentino
A kitchen is often seen as the central room in the house. Modern homeowners plan out their kitchens with great detail and with the future needs of their family in mind. Recently a big part of this is making sure that the kitchen is eco-friendly, and wastes as little as possible.
In the long run, this is also a savings method, because a green kitchen will end up using less power and producing less waste, which ends up increasing your family budget, even when it requires some initial investments.
The biggest energy consumers in your home are probably your kitchen appliances. This is especially the case if they are a bit older, since they start wasting more power as they age and need more repairs. Since the appliances are also the heart of the kitchen itself, it’s where you should start making changes.
Stoves are the most wasteful appliances in the kitchen, so replacing yours with one of Thor kitchen ranges, can really affect your monthly electricity bill. The same goes for the dishwasher which wastes both electricity and water if not chosen with conservation in mind.
Kitchen cabinets take up quite a lot of surface and they are usually purchased only once in a decade or so. Choosing the cabinets that are sleek looking and don’t increase your carbon footprint is therefore one of the most impactful kitchen purchases. The goal is not to jeopardize the look of your kitchen, but still make sure you recycle and reuse.
Try to find cabinets made out of scrapped wood and if you can’t, take the effort to purchase the wood yourself and commission a local woodworker to make them for you. The cabinets will be less wasteful and probably sturdier than the new and more expensive ones.
Changing the faucets in your kitchen will both make it more eco-friendly and more comfortable to work in. Firstly, when you install a sensor activated faucets, you waste less water, since it’s running only when you need it to. This adds up over time.
At the same time, these faucets are more comfortable to use. They don’t require you to use your hands to start the water running. Anyone who has had their hands full in the kitchen knows how helpful this can be and how fewer interruptions they will have to deal with.
It often happens that the countertops are the most expensive items in the kitchen, often more expensive than the appliances themselves. The countertops will define the look and feel of your kitchen. Marble countertops have been considered the best way to go for years now, and they are not the most fortunate choice when it comes to green concerns.
Try using quartz instead. It will create the same polished look but isn’t that expensive and isn’t that hard to find and manufacture as marble. Another option is to use recycled and reused marble, if you can find someone who will manufacture it for you.
Kitchen lights are essential for creating a working environment that’s both easy on the eyes and lit well enough to allow you to cook at all times. Most kitchens don’t have enough natural light and well place tasks lights around the working area make all the difference.
Start replacing your traditional kitchen lights with LEDs to make sure your home is less wasteful in terms of energy consumption. These light bulbs are more expensive at first, but they end up consuming much less energy and pay for themselves. It’s best to replace them in stage and thus save a bit of money on that initial investment.
Dealing with kitchen smells can be troubling and it usually ends up consuming quite a lot of electricity. Kitchen ventilation can’t be replaced with plants, but plants can help quite a lot, and give your kitchen a fresh and natural smell.
It’s important to choose the right plants for your kitchen so that you have the effect that you’ve wanted, without having to maintain the plants too much and waste time on them while you’re cooking. English ivy, Aloe Vera, Cast Iron plant and White Jasmine are the most popular choices.
The way your kitchen is designed may help you recycle more and be more responsible about it as well. Start by making sure, you have your recycling bins at your disposal and that it’s easy to separate your waste for recycling. This alone will help you make a habit of recycling.
Depending on where you live, you may also start composting your kitchen waste, by having a reliable and sanitary waste collection system. Once you do, you can use the compost in your garden and therefore be sure your compost is natural and eco-friendly.
All of these changes will create a big overhaul in your kitchen, and they may add up in price as well. However, in the long run, all of them are less costly, since they save on electricity and water consumption which is where most of your kitchen expenses are actually going.
The best way to transform your kitchen in this way is to focus on one project at the time. That way you can make real visible progress, but still control your spending in this regard.
A kitchen is the most wasteful part of your home. Investing in making more eco-friendly, will end up saving you money and transforming your home into a more modern and comfortable one.