Many homeowners are looking for new ways to incorporate green living into their everyday lives at home. By improving energy efficiency, reducing water waste, and implementing the use of sustainable materials, little by little, every room of the house can be transformed into an eco-friendly space. A great room to start with is the kitchen.
Key Elements of a Green Kitchen
An inexpensive way to start going green in the kitchen is to install faucet aerators in sink. At a price of less than $ 10.00 a piece, these little gadgets help control the amount of water released each time you use the sink faucet. Instead of having a large rush of water when you turn it on, an aerator redistributes the water so that less is wasted with each use.
Green kitchen appliances
The kitchen uses more energy than any other room of the house. Most homes have a minimum of three large appliances in this room alone. The refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove/oven unit. Newer homes may have two dishwashers, as well as a compactor. If your appliances are old, replace them with Energy Star labeled models, which meet or exceed the federal government’s energy-efficiency standards.
Cabinets take up a large portion of the overall space in the kitchen. In a green kitchen, it is imperative that they be made of eco-friendly materials. Many consumers assume that because most cabinetry is made of wood, they are environmentally friendly. Not true. Most cabinetry is made with adhesives and other materials that contain formaldehyde, which is not only bad for the environment, but can cause respiratory problems in those that are sensitive, or have allergies, to chemicals. In a green kitchen, choose cabinetry that is made with FSC-certified plywood and adhesives that are free of formaldehyde.
Countertops made from natural and sustainable materials are absolutely gorgeous, and available in a rainbow of colors. Recycled glass countertops, bamboo, granite, marble, stone, and even concrete, or some popular choices for eco-friendly countertops. These materials are commonly seen in all types of homes, even those that aren’t meant to be ‘green’. Consumers love their durability, beauty, and versatility.
To improve the air quality and remove cooking odors, an overhead ventilation system is an important element of a green kitchen. An overhead unit will quickly capture steam from cooking vapors, and release them so that moisture doesn’t form on the walls around the stove. This is essential in preventing mold growth in the kitchen.
Energy Saving Lighting
Switch out all the light bulbs with energy-efficient ones. This is an inexpensive way of going green in the kitchen, and will save money each month on your energy bill too. You can also replace existing light fixtures with ones designed to use less energy, or shut off on their own when the room is unoccupied.
More from Jennifer Wagner:
Extend the Life of Your Household Appliances
10 Inexpensive Energy Saving Tips
Key Elements of a Green Bathroom