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What Is Your Kitchen Design Carbon Footprint?



Are you in a hurry to design a new kitchen? You may be surprised by how much of a carbon footprint it will leave. You need to consider the role that your kitchen will play in contributing to global warming.

A number of experts have pointed out that our kitchens contribute to global warming. The Conversation argues that a third of the causes of global warming are caused in our kitchen. However, that particular article was a little misleading. It focused on the entire supply chain of the food we eat, rather than the environmental impact of our kitchens themselves.

This is where we need to look deeper at the design. There are a lot of ways that we can change our kitchen designs to minimize the impact it has on climate change. You can always look to these 10 inspirational designs covered in Good Magazine.

However, there may be some simple design changes that can make things easier. The Boston Globe has some great ideas for people that want to design environmentally friendly kitchens. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Focus on longevity. Lisa K. Tharp, founder of Boston’s K. Tharp Design and designer of the Concord Green Healthy Home, points out that replacing a kitchen is going to leave a large environmental footprint every time that you have to do it. Designing it to last reduces that.
  • Look for textiles and flooring products that don’t have urea formaldehyde.
  • Use kitchen products that don’t have Volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Use recycled materials whenever possible.
  • Reconsider using an island. You may want to repurpose a piece of furniture instead. Using an island will leave a larger carbon footprint, due to the complexity of the manufacturing process.
  • Use more insulation, especially near your windows. This will reduce your need to burn harmful greenhouse gases in the winter to keep your home warm. You may also want to see if there is a way to collect and repurpose heat from your oven to heat the home in the winter months.

Going About Creating a Green Design

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home, but it doesn’t have to be one of the most expensive, or one of the most complicated. There are a lot of simple, affordable ways to transform a kitchen from drab to fab. Many of these designs can be done yourself, which saves even more money on labor costs. A simple kitchen design has to be practical as well as stylish.

That means the different elements of the kitchen have to be able to stand up to the heavy traffic and wear and tear experienced by the average kitchen. They also have to be easy to clean since there is nothing simple about a kitchen that needs a lot of micro-management. When you are ready for a kitchen remodel in Los Angeles, Miami, or any city, start with this guide for some simple kitchen design ideas.

Focus on Timelessness

A simple kitchen design should be able to stand the test of time; incorporating classic design elements into a modern kitchen keeps the design simple. It also ensures that you never have to worry about updating the kitchen in the future because, while other designs come and go, these designs are everlasting.

White Colors

Kitchens having been using the color white for almost as long as kitchens have existed, the reason is that white gives even small, cramped kitchens an airy, open feel. It is a color that can make the kitchen seem more expansive.

You don’t need to use white everywhere, a splash of a contrasting dark color on the backsplash or cabinets can give the room some added visual interest without detracting from the merits of a white color scheme. In the event that you do decide on a new color, white is very easy to paint over.

Shaker Style Cabinets

These are the classically designed cabinets with a recessed center panel. Despite their simplicity, they are available in various styles, such as five-piece versions with a smaller recessed panel at the top.

They can be made more distinctive in different ways: they can have handles that are made from a variety of different metals and come in different shapes and sizes; they can also be constructed from different types of wood. Shaker style cabinets have stood the test of time because they are durable, as well as elegant. They reduce the visual noise of a kitchen and are a classic element of simple kitchen design.

Subway Tile Backsplash

So, called, because they were used to line New York’s first subway tunnels, these white, 3 x 6-inch tiles are a simple, classic element of kitchen design. They are easy to clean, last a very long time, and they go with any type of design element.

Marble Countertops

Marble countertops practically last forever and will look good for just as long. They are not that expensive since marble is readily available, plus it matches well with any other design element. The durability of marble makes it a good choice for any kitchen, but there may be concerns that it stains more easily than other surfaces.

However, sealing it regularly can prevent staining from happening. A more inexpensive, less labor-intensive option is a laminate countertop; laminate also lasts long, is available in a wide range of colors and designs, and is easy to clean and maintain.

Hardwood Floors

This type of flooring is available in different types of wood, such as ash or maple, all of which are highly durable and able to endure the most intense foot traffic a family can muster.  It’s also an eco-friendly material since it is sourced from sustainable forests.

A Simple Kitchen Does Not Have to Be a Dull Kitchen

It does not take piles of money or truckloads of expensive materials to create an elegantly designed kitchen. The choice of timeless design elements can give any ambitious homeowner an affordable, uncomplicated, handsomely designed kitchen that will never go out of style. The problem-solving principle of Occam’s Razor applies as much to design as it does to scientific theories, and to life itself: Sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution.

Focus on Designing a Greener Kitchen

Creating a green kitchen is important to minimize your carbon footprint. Don’t worry, there are lots of ways to redesign your kitchen in your quest to help fight global warming.