Most people know that going green in the kitchen can mean lower energy costs as well as a way provide an eco-friendly way of life good for humanity and the earth. And there are some easy changes you can make in the kitchen to make your lifestyle more environmentally friendly. For example, ditching the paper towels and utilizing re-usable towels instead or switching from paper plates and plastic utensils to the dishes and stainless you have hidden away in the cabinet.
Of course, when it comes to remodeling your kitchen, eco-friendly products have gained a reputation for being costly, hard to find, and not so attractive. While that may have been true in the past, today environmentally friendly products are readily available and come in a variety of styles. With a wide range of price points, eco-friendly remodeling will still cost a bit – but only a little – anywhere from two to 30 percent above standard construction. And for those with a goal to go green, it’s well worth the difference!
Hire a Professional to Help You Go as Green as You Want
When it comes to going green, one of the best ways to get your kitchen as green as you want it to be, hiring a professional architect, contractor, or designer is the ideal way to get the guidance you need. A professional with expertise in eco-friendly construction and remodeling will help you get the design and style you want while you stay well within your budget and finish on time. As you interview potential architects, designers, and contractors, make your wishes known from the start and you’ll quickly discover if they are serious about green design. You can also search for eco-friendly professionals through local, state, and national green building associations.
Going Green with Energy and Water Savings and Lowering Environmental Impacts
Selecting appliances with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program is a good starting point. These products use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than other standard models thus reducing your energy costs overall. Energy Star appliances along with enhanced insulation and thermally effective windows and doors are not only part of eco-friendly design but also make the kitchen more comfortable as well as efficient.
Plus, along with reducing environmental impact and increasing energy savings, eco-friendly design also delivers health benefits. How? The EPA estimates the pollutants inside a home are up to 100 times greater than outside with much of the pollution coming from the kitchen – appliances, flooring, countertops, cabinets, and paint. Going green in the kitchen means reduced exposure to these pollutants. For example, traditional paints and wood preservatives emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are responsible for minor eye and nose irritation to cancer, while eco-friendly VOC-free paints do not.
Quick and Easy Changes You Can Make Now
While planning your green remodeling project, there are some quick and easy changes you can make right away toward your green kitchen design. First, consider adding a practical recycling bin or station to your design. Separating your waste at home makes recycling organized, easy, and fast. Organic waste can be used as compost, while glass can plastic can be recycled to be used again while preserving natural resources.
Next, install a water-saving faucet aerator in your kitchen. These aerators easily attach to your kitchen sink’s faucet and immediately save you money by reducing water consumption by 30 percent. And finally, avoiding plastic products in your kitchen and utilizing recyclable and renewable materials like wood and glass.
Times have changed. At its advent eco-friendly construction and design tended to be costly, unattractive, and hard to find, but today green kitchen design is easy attainable, cost-effective, and aesthetically beautiful.