Making an effort to be more eco-friendly is no longer the stuff of hippies on the fringe; the world now has a greater awareness of the serious damage we have been doing to the environment and going ‘’green’’ is beginning to enter the mainstream.
There is a growing interest among the average citizen to be a better friend to Mother Earth, and one of the first places we are starting is in the home.
If you are making some changes to your kitchen, and are hoping to be a bit more eco-conscious, here are some tips to get you started.
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Kitchen appliances, like the fridge and dishwasher, are major culprits when it comes to energy inefficiency. But, you can easily solve this problem by purchasing products that have been certified to be energy-efficient and work just as well as their traditional counterparts. Look for the Energy Star label and you are good to go; you may even qualify for some great rebates.
Install a Greywater System
Much of the water you use in your house is perfectly fine for another go round; the one exception is the kind getting flushed down the toilet. In your quest for an eco-friendly kitchen, consider installing a greywater system that will help you dramatically reduce the amount of water you use outdoors for watering your lawn and plants, and other purposes.
Eco-Friendly Flooring Options
Conventional flooring is typically eco-unfriendly; cutting down trees that can take decades to grow back and using harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process are just a couple of the problems. Luckily, you have lots of options when it comes to picking a floor that is a bit more earth-friendly. Bamboo can be a great alternative to wood. This highly sustainable grass is very durable and harder, or just as hard as many types of wood used for flooring. Be sure to check up on the manufacturing process as some bamboo products are produced with toxic adhesives. Cork is another great option for a kitchen floor—taken right from the bark, the tree does not even need to be cut down. If you are more interested in tile, you can find many products that are either completely recycled or contain mostly recycled materials—you will not be wanting for design options as they are as plentiful as regular tile.
No matter what type of stove you are using, you require energy. Gas relies on fossil fuels while electric relies on burning coal. There is some debate on which one is more eco-friendly; when choosing your stove, there are some considerations that can result in significant decreases in energy use. If you choose a gas stove, look for one with a lower BTU output—the lower it is, the more eco-friendly it is. When it comes to electric, models that use induction heating are the best choice—by transferring electromagnetic energy right to the pan, they can use half as much electricity as standard electric stoves. Electric stoves that rely on halogen elements are also a good choice and may be less expensive.
Another thing to consider when remodeling your kitchen is whether you need a complete remodel in all areas; it is also eco-friendly to simply improve on what you already have without totally replacing it. For example, you may be able to refinish your current table or cabinets.