Eco-friendly kitchens are becoming increasingly popular. HGTV has shared a number of ideas on their website.
With Earth Day not that far behind us, many are thinking about what they can do to make their homes eco-friendlier. Energy conversation, air cleanliness, and water pollution are all concerns are becoming more environmentally conscious. And as many people spend a disproportionate amount of their awake time in their kitchen (12% according to an article from Houzz in 2015), it seems the kitchen is a natural place to start.
Simple ways to renovate your kitchen and do good for the environment
There are many ways that you can get started in renovating your kitchen while knowing you are doing something great for our planet. Here are some simple suggestions to help you get started:
- Set up a recycling center – While there doesn’t seem to be any official law in the United States that requires recycling, most would agree that recycling is a good thing. Over one-fourth of Americans live in communities where recycling is strongly encouraged, and we know that recycling reduces the need for the extracting, refining, and processing of raw materials which lead to air and water pollution. So why not give it a try?
- Grow your own herbs – We all know that spaghetti sauce is better with fresh oregano, and chives make our baked potatoes yummier, so why not grow your own herbs and lessen the need to create waste by buying all those tiny little herb bottles that get discarded so frequently?
- Think twice before you run your dishwasher – We’re all guilty of it; we have just a few dishes from that day’s meal and we decide to run the dishwasher before we go to bed. But is that frequency really necessary? A typical dishwasher cycle takes four to six gallons of water, so there is a great opportunity here to protect our water supply with more thoughtful use.
- Design your kitchen for longevity – Treehugger wrote an article about the best ways to build an eco-friendly kitchen. They pointed out that the number one solution is to make sure the kitchen lasts. This reduces the amount of materials that will be consumed to build it.
So, you want a full kitchen renovation?
If you’ve decided that you want to undergo a complete kitchen renovation, leveraging eco-friendly materials, then it is important to do your homework when selecting a contractor. When interviewing your contractor, it is important to ask some key questions and demand some key items at a minimum:
1. Appliances – Select only appliances that meet Energy Star standards
2. Sink – Along the same lines of when to run your dishwasher, you can select a low-flow faucet that uses less water per minute
3. Windows – Natural lighting is one of the best ways to cut down on energy usage. And make sure your contractor selects windows that are energy efficient. This article here provides some great insights into how to best improve your windows for maximum efficiency.
4. Lighting – Of course, you can’t get all of your light through the windows, so it is inevitable that you will need some light fixtures in your new kitchen. Be sure to replace any incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. And, lightbulbs are Energy Star-certified too, so be sure to look for those.
While there are many contractors out there, contractors such as Reborn Renovations are ready to help you with your kitchen renovation. The recipients of multiple awards due to their quality construction, their estimators, designers, and project managers will work with you to ensure that you design an eco-friendly kitchen that you love, and that will stand the test of time.
Almost sold on an eco-friendly kitchen renovation?
Ultimately, there are many things you need to consider before undergoing a renovation, whether you hire a knowledgeable contractor or decide to go at it yourself. The key to your renovation is to make sure that whatever you do, your kitchen is more functional than it was before. Additional storage space and more counter space can be exceptionally useful, especially as so many of us now use our kitchen for more than cooking and meal-time.
Comfort is important too. You don’t have to forego comfort to make your kitchen better for the environment. Make sure you consider the ventilation needed to reduce odors that are inevitable during cooking. Think about your seating area and what will be most comfortable and functional if you are seated for long periods.
Don’t forget safety. Outdated kitchen appliances, in addition to being out of touch with today’s environmental standards, are more likely to cause injury in a variety of ways. The stove and oven remain the most dangerous of kitchen appliances, so be sure to work with a professional on proper installation and usage.
And finally, remember that a renovated kitchen will indeed improve the value of your home. Whether you are undergoing a renovation for you or because you want to put your home on the market, remember that your home will be more marketable with an updated and eco-friendly kitchen, and you may easily recoup 70% or more of your investment.
Make an Eco-friendly Kitchen Today
Eco-friendly kitchens can be an excellent investment. You need to consider the benefits of them and invest accordingly. They save a lot of money and help you reduce your carbon footprint. Are you ready to make the investment?