We use our kitchens a lot and spend so much time in them that it is important we make our kitchens eco-friendly. Kitchens can be very difficult to renovate and create designs for due to the number of materials and items that there is to choose from. Making your kitchen environmentally-friendly can narrow down your options but it can still be confusing trying to navigate all the different aspects that go into a kitchen; whether it is flooring, appliances, countertops, cabinets or fixtures. It can be overwhelming to choose what is eco-friendly and what isn’t. Can you install an antique light as it may consume more energy that the modern ones? Are natural countertops better for the eco system that those made from different recycled materials?
These are some of the questions people face when designing an eco-friendly kitchen. If you need some assistance or don’t know where to start, it can be beneficial to hire a professional interior designer to support your kitchen renovation or design. They are familiar with the latest products and can work with you to choose the best eco-friendly products that fit within your budget.
The cabinet colours that you choose and the style of them is what will define the kitchen. You can achieve most design styles like modern, farmhouse, Scandinavian, etc all while still being eco-friendly. There are certain things to look for when it comes to searching for eco-friendly cabinet colours and styles and that is to take note of their finish, their materials and how they were manufactured. Eco-friendly cabinets need to have a finish that does not use VOC paint, as it is made up of unstable chemicals and lets off harmful gasses into the environment. Check with the supplier or maker to ensure that the eco-impact was considered during the manufacturing of the product.
If you like the look of wood and stone, then ensure you are getting the countertop from a legitimate source. If you choose wood, then ensure they are forest stewardship council approved which simply means they came from a sustainable forest. The countertops that you get that are made from reclaimed wood or a quick growing one like bamboo is a good eco choice. While stone is natural the manufacturing process uses a lot of water and energy. The best one to choose is a quartz countertop and that is a mineral. Quartz is made from resin and ground quartz. It is made eco-friendly and is LEED approved and green guard also.
Most times the appliances are what is used the most in your kitchen and is what keeps it busy. A kitchen is simply not a kitchen without a stove, a fridge and a dishwasher is also an ideal luxury to have. Buying second-hand will save resources as there is so much energy and water that is required to make and ship the appliance to addresses, along with all the wasted cardboard and packaging etc. If you are buying brand new it is worthwhile trying out local buy and sell, as sometimes people are gifted an appliance they don’t need or won’t use, so the item is still brand new. If you can’t find anything second-hand, you could enlist the help of an interior design agency to create the right eco-friendly décor and design for your kitchen. Depending on how old the appliance is it might not be energy star rated so it will use a lot more energy. Ensure you always check the energy and water ratings and get the highest one you can. Whilst energy efficient appliances will be more expensive, it will be better in the long run with cheaper bills and no pressure on the eco-system.