Kitchens are one of the most frequently updated and renovated rooms in the home. They’re also the most used room; the place where families gather to cook, eat, study, and spend time together. So, it makes sense that homeowners are looking for ways to create a healthier, more sustainable home and start that process in the kitchen. There are many ways to go green with your kitchen design, from saving water to creating a healthier environment to cook and eat in. Try a few of these green kitchen designs on for size.
Water Saving Faucets
Many faucets made today are low-flow, meaning that they use fewer gallons of water per minute than older faucets, which will save water. Take this a step further, and install faucets with a motion sensor activator which allows you to turn on and off the faucet with a wave of your hand, so the water doesn’t have to keep running when your hands are full or dirty. This can save you thousands of gallons of water a year with daily use.
Reclaimed flooring is one of the hottest trends in home design right now. Made from materials that have been used before, reclaimed wood, stone, and terracotta flooring is highly eco-friendly, as no new materials had to be produced to create the floor.
Many of these materials, including stone floors found in French farmhouses or wood floors from old factories, have been in use for 100+ years. These instantly add a lot of character and interest to a kitchen that new materials just don’t have.
When ordering these materials from a store, keep an open mind as reclaimed flooring may not exactly match store samples.
LED Lighting Fixtures
Today essentially all new lighting fixtures are LED as they use much less energy than incandescent lighting. Now almost any type of bulb is available in LED and since the prices have dropped significantly for LED bulbs and dimmers this is an economical option to conserve energy.
Energy Star Appliances
Kitchen appliances are some of the most important parts of this room. They’re also energy vampires, as they’re always plugged in and on standby, even when not in use. Those sleeping appliances may even account for a large portion of your energy bill each month. Opt for appliances that are Energy Star rated, and save as much as 15% on your energy bills each month according to Energystar.gov. This could be a significant savings over time, allowing some of your new appliances to pay for themselves within a few years.
More Natural Light
Recent surveys of industry influencers suggest the number one green design that builders are including is the addition of more windows. Natural light helps cut down on energy bills, while providing a healthier, happier environment. To reduce energy bills even more we recommend purchasing windows with low-e argon as the insulating gas, which helps a lot during the extreme temperatures of the summer and winter months.
Invest in a Superior Counter top
The counter top is a very prominent part of the kitchen and a great area to consider going green. While natural stone counters are trendy, they aren’t sustainable because once stone has been quarried, it can’t be replaced. Many stones are also shipped from overseas, which adds to their carbon footprint and their price tag.
Newer, greener materials are available like recycled glass counters by IceStone, ceramic counters by Neolith, or paper composite counters by Richlite. All contain a high percentage of recycled content and come in a range of colors, textures, and styles to complement any kitchen design without sacrificing Eco status. They’re also incredibly durable, so you won’t need to replace them again within a few years.
Go Green in Your Kitchen
Making the switch to greener options in your kitchen doesn’t have to affect your design or your style, but can make your kitchen healthier and less costly to run. So try switching to a greener kitchen design to get the best of both worlds in style and functionality.