Any practice that reduces your carbon footprint, shrinks your impact on the environment and minimizes your reliance on natural resources is called sustainable living. Sustainable actions are often as simple as driving less and selecting locally grown produce, or as involved as composting your organic waste and switching to solar power.
Modern kitchen design with white cabinets and a natural wood finish island from Wood Harbor, a KCMA certified cabinet builder. Featuring quartz countertops and energy star appliances.
Better for your wallet and your health is making your home more sustainable and isn’t simply better for the planet. Because the heart of any sustainable home, an eco-friendly kitchen uses environmentally conscious materials and energy-efficient appliances to create your way of life as green as possible.
Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or building one from scratch, going green is less complicated than you’re thinking that. Here’s how sustainable materials and methods can facilitate your design and build the eco-friendly kitchen of your dreams.
Eco-Friendly Design Principles
Eco-friendly design is all about using less to attain more. Specifically, it means using the fewest resources and therefore the lowest possible amount of energy to renovate an existing space or build a brand new home without compromising your overall vision or goal.
The green design seeks to scale back negative environmental impacts through:
- Sustainably sourced materials that need minimal upkeep
- Non-toxic finishes that improve indoor air quality
- Low-flow faucets and dishwashers that conserve water
- Energy-efficient appliances that use less non-renewable energy
The chosen materials, fixtures, finishes, and appliances are chosen for his or her sustainable origins additionally as their timeless appeal and long-term durability, given that longevity may be a key aspect of sustainability, eco-friendly kitchen design also aims to be enduring.
Sustainable Kitchen Materials
Homeowners sometimes worry that a green kitchen renovation will limit their choices when it involves surface materials, but nothing might be farther from the truth: as beautiful and resilient as their conventional counterparts, there’s a good array of sustainably sourced countertop and flooring materials.
In addition to green materials like reclaimed hardwood and recycled glass, there are lots of sustainably sourced material options — FSC-certified timber countertops and wood flooring come from responsibly managed forests, while environmentally-friendly cork flooring is recycled at the top of its long lifespan.
Quartz (engineered stone) is another eco-friendly countertop option. Quartz, unlike granite, is often made up of recycled materials, which could be a non-renewable resource that’s extracted from the planet in an energy-intensive process. Quartz is additionally extremely durable and doesn’t need toxic sealants to stay in prime condition.
Quartz countertop island with in-built sink.
Building Greener Cabinets
Eco-friendly cabinets, like most custom kitchen cabinets, are built with sustainably sourced materials, non-toxic glues, and finishes, and, if possible, repurposed, or recycled hardware, unlike conventional kitchen cabinets.
Standard cabinets are typically assembled with glue that contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that may off-gas into the air you breathe for up to 2 years, as they are made of traditionally manufactured wood products (pressed wood, fiberboard, etc.).
Green cabinets are built with sustainably sourced materials like solid, formaldehyde-free wood, recycled wood, reclaimed wood, FSC-certified wood, or maybe bamboo. They won’t off-gas and compromise your health as they’re also made with safe, non-toxic glues and finishes.
Energy and Conservation
High-energy hogs that waste a substantial amount of water, electricity, and non-renewable gas every single day are conventional kitchen faucets and appliances. Need far less power to cook your meals or keep your leftovers cold is an eco-friendly kitchen that features a low-flow faucet and dishwasher together with energy-efficient appliances.
When trying to find a low-flow faucet, seek the EPA’s WaterSense label. A WaterSense faucet reduces water flow by a minimum of 30 percent without sacrificing performance as it employs a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute.
When choosing energy-efficient appliances, hunt for models that have the ENERGY STAR seal of approval. Because the best kitchen appliances are available, ENERGY STAR products help reduce your energy bills and shrink your carbon footprint.
Eco-Friendly Details, Too
Almost every detail of your new build or kitchen renovation will be made greener along the way, from energy-efficient windows and LED bulbs to zero-VOC paint on the walls and non-toxic grout in your tiled backsplash.
And remember, going green doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. A difference for the earth, your wallet, and your health is possible when you add some eco-friendly design elements to your new kitchen.