The way that you build out your home is a reflection of your values. For those of us who are eco friendly, your kitchen offers perhaps one of the greatest opportunities in your lifetime to go green. You can do more today for environmentalism with a few changes in your cooking area than you can from a month of letter writing or protesting! What's, more, you can create an environmentally friendly kitchen space without spending a huge amount of money or changing your habits very much. Here are some of the best ways to make your kitchen green and save the Earth without upending your lifestyle.
If you do a significant amount of cooking in your kitchen, you can start going green by growing your own herbs. Not only is this eco-friendly, but it is also fun for someone who likes dealing with food. If you do not have a yard space to do this in, you can grow them right on your kitchen countertop. You may need a bit of restructuring to ensure that you have some space that lets in the appropriate amount of sunlight, but this is an easy fix with a professional kitchen design partner.
Instead of buying bottled water every week and using that resource needlessly, you can set up a water filtration system in your home. This is not only a great way to save resources, but it can also save you money as well. This is a great idea even if you have filtration in your fridge, and it is easy enough to install one in your kitchen sink. Doing this ensures that all the water that you use for cooking is also filtered, which will give your family health an immediate upgrade.
Another add on that will help your kitchen go greener is a sink aerator. This single improvement can save you up to 700 gallons of water per annum according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Not only does this give you savings on your monthly water bill, but it also gives you more money to put into other kitchen improvements.
Using Natural Light
You can save a great deal of energy in your kitchen by using natural light in your kitchen instead of artificial light. If there is absolutely no way that your kitchen can be redesigned, LED lights are a great alternative. However, you can usually redesign your kitchen to let in more natural light while improving its overall feng shui. Talk to a professional designer to get some ideas that you may not have on your own – these are people who have seen and participated in successful redesigns for kitchens of all styles and sizes.
If you have old appliances in your kitchen, you are probably using much more energy than you need to. Newer appliances must adhere to more stringent energy standards, so you are saving energy automatically on purchase. You will also have more options in terms of styling and finish as well. Newer appliances tend to give a more modern look to a kitchen, and you can vary the look that you want with the appliances you purchase. Newer appliances also last longer because of their lower energy needs, saving you money on repairs and maintenance as you go green.
No VOC Paint
If you are taking on a new paint project in your kitchen, make sure that your painter (or you, if you are going DIY) is using no VOC paint. VOCs are antiquated paint compounds that use too much carbon and are quite unstable. This is especially important to remember if you have children or elderly people in your household – these compounds easily vaporize into the environment of your home, causing lower indoor air quality and possible health issues. If you are unfamiliar with new paints that are no VOC, make sure that you ask a trusted kitchen designer. You will be able to direct you in the right way.
As you are discussing options for a new kitchen design with your professional design partner, make sure that you use the opportunity to talk about how you could include more greenery in your kitchen. One of the best ways to incorporate greenery into a new design without expensive upgrades is hanging plants. However, you should take in the opinion of a professional designer to ensure that your new plants are placed in the most advantageous locations around the room.
Eliminating Paper Towels
If you are using paper towels to clean up all of your accidents and spills, you definitely have an opportunity to go green here. Using old rags and kitchen towels is a much better solution. You can wash them and use them repeatedly instead of having to buy paper towels over and over again. If you have old T-shirts that have lost their luster, you can use these as new dish rags as well.
Many cities are creating full on recycling systems that take in more kinds of materials than ever. Many residents, however, do not take full advantage of these new systems because they do not separate trash in their kitchens before putting it out to pasture. You can build a recycling center in your kitchen that matches segmentation of the city that you are in. If you make this a part of your vision as you redesign your kitchen, then your kitchen design partner will be able to incorporate it in aesthetically as well as functionally.
These are just a few of the best ways to create a more eco-friendly kitchen space. None of them are that expensive, are they? You can save even more money (and you may get even better ideas) if you tell your professional kitchen redesign partner that you are looking to go green upfront. Now that going green actually saves you money instead of costing you there is no excuse for actually making it happen in your kitchen!