Build an Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Kitchen Design Guru

Build an Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Kitchen Design Guru

Build an Environmentally Friendly Kitchen

Eco-friendly products allow homeowners to redo their kitchen in any shade of green they like. You can get good results by spending just two to five percent over standard construction costs and with little extra difficulty.

Here are some ways to go green in different areas of your kitchen without breaking the bank.

Materials

•    Purchase solid wood cabinets harvested from managed forests or made from alternative materials like wheat board.

•    Use only non-toxic, water based or low-VOC finishes

•    Choose durable and environmentally friendly flooring products

•    Opt for renewable resources like bamboo or cork for flooring

•    Consider linoleum flooring, made from natural linseed oil, rosin, and wood flour

Countertops

•    Countertops should be durable and easy to clean. A New Jersey granite countertop will last a lifetime and not end up in a landfill.

•    Many countertops sit on top of plywood backing. Make sure your countertop NJ fabricators install backing with no urea formaldehyde, or backing sealed on all sides with a zero-VOC sealant.

•    Choose countertop material from a local source. Quarries in the United States must comply with stringent environmental protection laws.

•    Choose a sink with recycled content in stainless steel or copper

•    Select faucets with aerators to add air to the water stream, reducing water volume while maintaining water pressure.

Backsplash Tiles

•    Complement your New Jersey granite countertop with a backsplash made from eco-friendly tiles.

•    A granite countertop NJ professional can recommend renewable or recycled material tiles. Recycled post-consumer glass tiles are popular options.

Appliances

Buy only Energy Star labeled appliances. They are ten to fifty percent more energy and water efficient than other models. They reduce energy costs and improve function through better insulation and efficiency.

Ovens, Ranges and Cooktops

•    Induction cook tops heat food by transferring energy directly into the pan. These use about ½ the energy as a traditional cook top.

•    Use microwaves whenever possible and save 80 percent energy compared to stovetop cooking.

•    Convection ovens drive heat from the source to the food 25 percent faster than regular ovens.

Refrigerators

•    Refrigerators use more home energy than any other appliance except HVAC systems.

•    Do not buy a refrigerator bigger than you need.

•    Top and bottom freezer/refrigerator units save more energy than side-by-side models by keeping more cold air from escaping.

•    Energy Star certified dishwashers use much less water than older models and less water than hand washing dishes.

•    Dishwasher drawers use less space and less water for washing small loads.

•    Do not run a partially filled dishwasher.

Environmental Quality inside Your Home

Water, light and air are essential to the health of your family and your home. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates Americans spent up to 90 percent of their time inside. Pollutants may be 10 to 100 times greater inside compared to outside.

Kitchens contribute to indoor air pollutions through materials out-gassing and cooking fumes. Green products reduce indoor air pollution by eliminating VOCs in paints, wood preservatives, flooring products and countertops. Natural New Jersey granite countertops produce no VOCs and contribute to a healthy home. A countertop NJ specialist can recommend environmentally friendly options.

•    Range hoods over cook tops and ovens should vent outside.

•    Install a water filtration system or a filtering faucet. You will save thousands on bottled water, and reduce the number of plastic bottles entering the landfill.

•    Invest in a tankless water system, saving hundreds of gallons of water and 10 to 20 percent on energy annually over a traditional water heater.

•    Install lots of windows for natural lighting. Good ventilation in the kitchen helps improve indoor air quality.

•    Cut lighting costs and energy use by 50 percent with fluorescent lighting. High quality, dimmable electrical ballasts save energy and prevent annoying fluorescent flickering.

•    LED lighting offers long life and efficient operation. Use them for pendant lights over workspaces and as heatless under-cabinet task lighting.

•    Do not use recessed can lights unless they are airtight. Use fluorescent bulbs in can lighting.

•    Install inexpensive motion and occupancy sensors in standard switch boxes.

Accessorize

Just as in any fashion endeavor, accessorizing is essential. Creating a greener, more environmentally friendly home is no exception, and many accessories are available to meet the need.

•    Use recycled glass dinnerware or bowls made from sustainable bamboo

•    Products from many online retailers like IKEA use recycled scrap wood.

•    Sustainable cork is excellent for kitchen trivets and placemats. It resists mold and mildew and is hypoallergenic.

•    Include pull out recycling bins for paper, plastic, glass and metal in your kitchen design.

•    Choose natural fabrics like cotton or wool for window coverings and chair fabrics.


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