Eco-Friendly Kitchen Appliances — Green Products — Good Housekeeping

Eco-Friendly Kitchen Appliances - Green Products - Good Housekeeping

The latest environmentally responsible options for the workhorse of your home

Countertops

Of course counters should be durable and easy to clean. Now a number of green options fit that description, including IceStone, a mix of 100 percent recycled glass and concrete that comes in many colors, for about $75 per square foot (icestone.biz ). Or opt for surfacing made from abundant natural materials, like quartz, $70 to $120 per square foot (caesarstone.com ), or even recycled paper or hemp, $90 to $120 per square foot (richlite.com ).

Cabinets

Look for formaldehyde-free units made of solid wood responsibly harvested from managed forests or made of an alternative material like wheatboard, a composite that incorporates wheat straw. Finishes should be nontoxic — water-based or low-VOC. Alno cabinets are constructed entirely from recycled resources (alnousa.com ).

Floors

When selecting kitchen flooring, pick products that are as lasting as they are environmentally sound. Old-fashioned linoleum, made from all-natural materials, about $3 to $4 per square foot, is a great choice (marmoleum.com ). Or try wood flooring made from Forest Stewardship Council–certified sources, $11 and up per square foot, or from a renewable resource like bamboo, $11 and up per square foot (teragren.com ), or cork, $10 and up per square foot (wicanders.com ). Concrete Solutions floor tiles ($15 per square foot) are colored using natural pigments (artistictile.com ).

Sinks and Faucets

Seek out a sink made with recycled content, either in stainless steel (julien.ca ) or copper, $450 to $800 (nativetrails.net ), or shop salvage yards for a gently used model. Be sure to choose a faucet with an aerator, from $200 to $400, which injects bubbles into the stream, producing the same pressure with less volume (kohler.com ), thereby saving water.

Tiles

Usually a key design focal point, the backsplash is no place to compromise. Fortunately, there’s a range of eco-friendly tiles available, like recycled-glass tiles ($20 per square foot), from Eco-Friendly Flooring (ecofriendlyflooring.com ).

Cooktops and Ovens

Electric-induction cooktops, $1,500 to $4,000 (kitchenaid.com ), heat food by transferring electromagnetic energy directly to the pan, using about half as much energy as conventional models. When shopping for an oven, choose one with the Energy Star label, and use the microwave whenever you can for energy savings as high as 80 percent (geappliances.com ).

Refrigerators

Refrigerators are the second-biggest energy hogs in the house (heating and cooling systems are first). If you’re replacing an older model, find one with the Energy Star label (which designates appliances that use 10 to 50 percent less energy than standard models), and don’t buy a bigger fridge than you really need. The Elite Side-by-Side refrigerator ($1,799) is Energy Star-rated (kenmore.com ).

Water, Light, and Air

Installing a water-filtration system, starting around $100 (culligan.com ), or a filtering faucet, $200 to $800 (moen.com ), will save a bundle on bottled water. Reduce electric lighting usage by planning plenty of windows to let in sun. Adequate ventilation (broan.com ) will ensure more healthful indoor air quality.

Dishwashers

The latest dishwashers use significantly less water per load than hand-washing, thanks to sensor technology that customizes the amount of water to what’s being cleaned. Bosch’s Ascenta dishwasher ($549 to $799) exceeds Energy Star standards by 36 percent (bosch.com ).

Accessories

Add earth-savvy style with recycled-glass dinnerware, $60 to $189 (vivaterra.com ), and bowls made of fast-growing bamboo, like these Lacquerware ones ($29), from Bambu (greenfeet.com ).


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