Making your home eco friendly can be overwhelming to say the least, which is why I recommend completing one room at a time, starting with the kitchen. Kitchens are always big selling points and when done correctly usually yield a good return on your investment.
Whether you are remodeling an existing kitchen or creating a new kitchen from scratch, the tips below will help guide you when choosing your eco friendly materials.
There are several great options these days for flooring that will fit the design you have in mind including reclaimed or recycled hard wood, sustainable materials such as a bamboo, and cork. Cork flooring is sound proof and hypoallergenic. It works well in kitchens because it is not only sound proof, but also mold and mildew resistant.
When remodeling your kitchen, check and see if you can refurbish your existing cabinets. Sometimes a new stain, paint color, or even new hardware can make a substantial change. It will not only be green, but also cost effective too! If you do need new cabinets, consider formaldehyde free units made of solid wood or a composite such as wheat board. You can even get nontoxic finishes!
Countertops & Backsplashes
Eco friendly materials are not only trendy and responsible, they are also gorgeous! With a growing demand for recycled and eco friendly materials comes more and more options that provide a variety of colors, textures, and styles. Recycled materials include glass, aluminum, and ceramic pieces. All of which will make for a show stopping backsplash.
Be sure to pull together your overall design with an equally stunning countertop. Chose from a composite, which looks like granite and is just as durable, to quartz, or a sustainable product such as IceStone. IceStone is a mix of glass and concrete.
This may be one of the easier choices you have to make. Look for the Energy Star rated appliances and check the energy ratings. These ratings will provide you with an estimated annual cost of usage and can be compared across models. Be sure to get a model that fits your family’s needs. For example, the larger the refrigerator the more energy will be required to run.
When planning your kitchen layout, consider window placement and where you can capture natural light throughout the day. Skylights and window backsplashes will also help bring in natural light will also help bring down energy costs. Also, consider replacing 100-watt incandescent bulbs with 32-watt CFL or LED bulbs. LED bulbs don’t get as hot, last longer, and are more energy efficient than incandescent and CFL’s.
As you can see there are lots of options today that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also good for our planet. Enjoy your new Dream Green Kitchen!