You may have heard the term “green kitchen” being used recently, but do you know what it actually means, and what do you need to do to make your kitchen green? Well it’s not something that you can do with paint, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s about an eco-friendly, sustainably-created working space. The benefits of creating a green kitchen include lowering gas and electric bills, using less water, and creating less damage to the environment.
What can I do to create a “green kitchen”?
- Use “Energy Star” devices. They use a lot less electricity and water than standard devices and can be found in many major stores easily. They may be priced slightly above regular devices, but the savings in your bills will offset this very quickly. Also, if you are replacing a kitchen appliance, make sure that it is disposed of responsibly.
- Lightbulbs. Change all your lighting for compact fluorescent bulbs that use about half the electricity of standard bulbs, and last twice as long. Again, they may cost more up-front, but will save you money in the long-term. And not having to throw away so many used bulbs is good for the environment, too.
- Faucets. Replace your kitchen faucets with low flow devices; these use far less water and you will be amazed how much you can save. These can also be bought as eco-friendly units produced from recycled metals.
- Windows. Standard single-glazing windows leak heat like crazy. If you still have them in your kitchen, replace them with more energy efficient windows. Many windows now have energy efficiency ratings so go for the most efficient ones within your budget.
- Furniture and countertops. Go for sustainably sourced or recycled materials. If you have any old furniture or lumber lying around, use that to save yourself money, and help the environment at the same time. If not, choose wood that comes from sustainable sources rather than a standard item.
- Flooring. You may not have given this much thought, but many people have kitchen flooring produced from synthetic materials. Try to choose either natural linoleum or cork flooring; these are not only sustainable and more eco-friendly but will enhance the appearance of your kitchen as well.
- Think about your power and water usage. Make an effort to use less water when washing up or cleaning, you really don’t need as much as you thought. And when you cook, consider how much gas, electric and water you are using to prevent wastage.
- Eat sustainably sourced food. Try and buy food produced locally, as this is better for the environment as it doesn’t have to be shipped hundreds or thousands of miles. Avoid buying produced wrapped in polystyrene or excess packaging to reduce your carbon footprint.
Invite your friends and family over to see how great your new kitchen is. If you can convince other people to follow in your footsteps, the benefits to the environment are suddenly multiplied.