7 Easy Steps to Build the Ultimate Green Kitchen
While we all agree that the kitchen is the work center of your home, what is less known is how much energy that part of the house consumes on a daily basis. When you start to wonder why the utility bill is so high and what you could do to cut down on costs, the kitchen is where you need to be looking. All those electrical appliances running 24/7 have an impact on the environment as well. So to provide a healthier place for your family and help save the environment, you need to think green. Building a green kitchen is not as complicated as it may sound and the long-term benefits that come from reducing water and electricity consumption will make it well worth it. Here’s how you can design and build an efficient green kitchen in 7 easy steps.
Efficient energy windows are one way to cut down on the electricity bill. A skylight will come in handy as well to allow in the natural light and make you less dependent on electrical lights. Having a continuous connection with the outdoors from within your home is important for your overall health. Also, remember to set the hood vents to the outside instead of circulating the air to get better indoor air quality and reduce chances of spreading germs and infections inside the house.
Going green when it comes to countertops means looking for the ones made from recycled material. The more recycled content the countertops have the greener it is. You can now get ones made from recycled glass and concrete in different colors to suit every decor. They have less impact on the environment and can stand hard use in the kitchen.
The green choices for cabinets are those that are formaldehyde-free. Most cabinets in the market are made from compressed wood which emits gas for years and can affect your lungs and eyes. You can get alternatives to formaldehyde in compressed agricultural plant material that saves you money and protects your family. You don’t have to take down the whole cabinet though. Just replacing the cabinet and drawer fronts is enough to reduce the environmental risks of using formaldehyde products.
Linoleum and cork make up for the best green flooring choices you can get. There’s another alternative, bamboo but it’s not for everybody. Yet a greener option is the reclaimed floor that offers sustainable and durable solutions for the environment-conscious consumer. You can select from different designs and color schemes and add an aesthetic touch to your kitchen.
Old appliances tend to consume a lot of energy compared to modern and efficient models. Because some appliances like refrigerators run around the clock, their consumption of electricity is the highest and they contribute the biggest share in your energy bill. Other appliances like dishwashers need to replaced as well with new ones. And if you’re wondering, the newest models of dishwashers save more energy than if you wash your dishes by hand. Don’t forget to load the dishwasher full before you run it. That way you can save up to 20% on its electricity use.
If you live in an old building, chances are lead is used in the plumbing. In most cases, it was used to solder pipes and plumbing pipes. Lead is a health hazard and can cause kidney failure and high blood pressure among other diseases. If you have lead pipes in your house plumbing you need to replace them with copper, PVC, CPVC, PEX material. While copper is a little more expensive, it’s more environment-friendly than the other plastic materials since plastic takes longer to recycle.
Lighting fixtures consume more energy than most appliances except for old refrigerators. If your kitchen has those bulbs consider replacing them with energy-efficient fluorescent lighting. They have better designs, give off more lighting, and are gentle on your electricity bill.