From Dean Dowd on June 09, 2010 in Green Remodeling
The best room in the house to make green is your kitchen. But where do you start? What do you do? The process is proven easiest if you green as you go, or incorporate the most energy-efficient components directly into your remodel. Heres how.
Any appliance you purchase needs to have one big qualification: it must be Energy Star. Energy Star appliances will slash your energy bill and help out the environment. Quit washing the dishes by hand and go with a dishwasher. Dishwashers, when used correctly, actually use less water and energy than traditional dishwashing. Beyond that, purchase appliances only as big as you need them. Bigger appliances require more energy.
You have no need to compromise quality when investing in green countertop. The best options on the market are Terrazzo, a low-maintenance, ultra-durable, and oh-so-attractive counter material. PaperStone, neither paper nor stone, is another excellent option for long-lasting countertop materials.
For any faucets in the kitchen, purchase a low-flow faucet system. Youll use far less water than before.
First off, do you really need cabinets? Of course, is your first thought, but think again. The less materials required, the greener. For this reason, consider shelves instead of cabinets. Modern kitchens, in keeping with the minimalist look, are using traditional or stainless steel shelving instead of the conventional wood. If you do use wood, be sure to purchase recycled wood that is free of harmful chemicals and treatments.
Paint with low-VOC paints. Theyre equally durable, come in beautiful colors, and are far safer than traditional paint.
Any quality flooring company has a list of environmentally friendly and safe flooring options. The important feature to remember is that flooring should be VOC-free and come from renewable materials. Wood, cork and bamboo are gorgeous eco-friendly elements.
Use only CFL bulbs in the kitchen. A lot of light is important for the kitchen, but why turn on the lights when you can use natural light? Open up the ceiling with skylights and use light-colored cabinetry and flooring to make your kitchen a brighter place.
A green kitchen isnt just about the walls, paint, or appliances. Its about what you eat, too. The only kind of food that will match your now-green kitchen is food that is locally grown and organic. Eat up, be healthy, and enjoy.