Kitchen Remodeling | Eco-Friendly Tips for Your Kitchen
Kitchen Remodeling | Planning on renovating your kitchen? A remodel is the perfect opportunity to see where you can go green (and we’re not just talking about the color). Making your kitchen more eco-friendly can help you minimize your impact on the environment and your wallet, because lower energy usage translates to a lower utility bill.
There are many changes you can make to your kitchen to make it more environmentally-friendly, and if you’re unsure what you’d like to try, you should get recommendations from a kitchen remodeling expert. We’ll help you get started with a few simple ideas below.
Choose Sustainable Flooring
It’s a good idea to choose natural flooring since you won’t have to worry about the toxins found in many synthetic materials, but beyond that, you should also look for natural materials that regenerate quickly. Fast-growing materials like bamboo and cork are both great choices. If you want to know how sustainable these materials are, just compare them to other commonly used flooring materials: the cork tree regenerates roughly every nine years, for example, while oak and maple trees require thirty years or more.
You don’t need to compromise style to go green; there are plenty of innovative recycled materials available for your kitchen renovation. For example, you could create a colorful backsplash using recycled glass tiles. Or brighten up your shelves with recycled glass dishware. Recycled stone-chipped composite countertops have become another popular option in recent years thanks to their durability and resemblance to granite.
Look for the Energy Star Label
If it’s time to replace some of your older appliances, look for new appliances that have an Energy Star label, indicating that they have met the energy-efficiency standards of the Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Energy. And if you only replace one appliance, consider making it your refrigerator, since it can be one of the biggest energy hogs in the house. Whenever possible, choose a top-and-bottom freezer-refrigerator combination as this will let out less cold air than separate freezer/refrigerator units.
Make Sure Your Sink is Energy-Efficient
We use a lot of water from our kitchen sink, especially when hand-washing dishes. That’s why it’s a good idea to add a new faucet that uses less water—look for anything that uses 2.2 gallons of water or less per minute. You can also get a faucet with an aerator, which injects bubbles into the stream so that you have good pressure but use less water.
Go for Natural Light and Plants
Maximize natural light as much as possible in your renovation so that you won’t need to turn on the lights in the kitchen as often. While you’re at it, add some potted or hanging plants in an area of the kitchen where they’ll be exposed to sunlight. Not only do plants brighten up a room, they also act as natural air filters, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.
Make Over before Trashing
Before throwing anything out in your kitchen remodel, ask yourself if it could be fixed up or saved for use elsewhere. For example, you might be able to improve the appearance of your kitchen simply by repainting your cabinets rather than tossing them in favor of all new ones. Or maybe you could strip, repaint, and recover some old kitchen chairs or bar stools so that they look brand new. For those items that you do decide to pull from your kitchen, think about whether you can hold on to them for use somewhere else in your house or donate them to someone else who could use them rather than sending them to the landfill. For instance, if you remove an old countertop, you might try reusing it as a work table in your basement.
Eco-friendly renovations take some planning and research, but many homeowners find it’s well-worth the extra effort to use sustainable products and reduce their home energy usage. – Cole Builders
Interested in kitchen remodeling? Contact Medina Exteriors today, (330)591-4040Share