Whether you have just moved into a new house or are looking to renovate your current home, a kitchen renovation is likely to top your list. Kitchens are highly personal spaces, and whether you like to cook or entertain, having a layout that you love and suits you is essential. Just remember that your kitchen overhaul has some environmental cost attached to it.
An eco-friendly kitchen saves you money on energy costs. In the past, green products were expensive and difficult to find. However, many eco-friendly products are now available in a wide range of styles, designs, and prices than ever before.
If you are about to start a new kitchen design or remodel and are concerned about the environmental cost, consider the following seven eco-friendly design ideas.
Bamboo and engineered boards are some of the most available eco-flooring in the market. But there are plenty of other green products, including porcelain tiles, cork, and resin.
Insist on natural flooring such as wood, linoleum, or cork, which do not contain the toxins commonly found in many manufactured materials. For instance, cork is a sustainable material that costs roughly the same price as wood. Cork trees can regenerate every nine years while maple and oak take up to 30 years.
Most conventional cabinets are made from materials assembled with glues containing formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), including plywood, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), and particleboard. For an eco-friendly kitchen, choose cabinets built with safer, formaldehyde-free materials such as solid wood, reclaimed wood, or bamboo.
You can also reface your cabinets and yield a similar look to custom cabinetry. Re-facing uses less wood, saves you money, and the reinforcement process makes your existing cabinets stronger.
There are plenty of green countertops made from recycled materials such as hemp or paper. They are easy to clean and durable but have a limited colour selection. If you prefer tile countertops, look for those made from recycled materials or products recycled from previous installations.
Green-certified products are better because they don’t have chemical-based adhesives. A popular option is birch plywood countertops made from thin strips of timber. What’s more, Corian or quartz countertops are better than granite. They do not require toxic sealants, are virtually maintenance-free, and can last you a lifetime without chipping or cracking.
4. Energy-Efficient Appliances
Installing energy-efficient appliances in your kitchen will reduce your home’s energy demand and monthly bill. You don’t need to replace old appliances that are still in perfect condition, but you can save them for future use. For a fresh, new look, opt for equipment with a high energy label (A+, A++, or A+++) because it has met the strict energy-efficiency guidelines that the EU and the European Product Database for Energy Labelling (EPREL) require.
5. Energy Efficient Lighting and Fixtures
Incorporate as much natural lighting into your kitchen as possible. Natural lighting is not only gorgeous but also the most efficient option available. Make use of tubular daylighting systems of skylights to bring in natural light and warmth into your kitchen space.
At night, choose LED bulbs over incandescent. LEDs are energy efficient, available in various colours, and last 20 times longer than traditional incandescent.
6. Cooker Hood
When remodelling your home, quality indoor air and proper ventilation should be among the first things to consider. One simple way to do both is by installing a cooker hood. These devices have a mechanical fan that hangs above your cooktop or stove. They remove airborne grease, fumes, smoke, heat, combustion products, and steam from your kitchen air by the process of evacuation and filtration.
7. Eco-friendly Sinks and Faucets
Install a recyclable stainless steel sink made of recycled steel. If you want a traditional design, go for reclaimed Butler and Belfast designs. Alternatively, consider repurposing your old sink and adding some extra components such as low-flow faucets to ensure efficient household water usage.
Multifunctional taps can help you cut your water and energy usage, so look for:
- Aerators to boost your water flow
- Instant hot water taps
- Sparkling water and filter taps to replace the need for bottled water
The Bottom Line
Nothing transforms your home’s feel like a freshly-remodelled kitchen. It is the perfect candidate for green remodelling. There are numerous options available today that still make your kitchen eco-friendly, gorgeous, and trendy. Use the above design ideas for inspiration and create your perfect green kitchen with the help of your interior designer.