Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kitchen Refit – Making Your Kitchen Greener

Are you thinking of going green in your kitchen? Maybe you have already gone green in your cooking or other lifestyle habits and want to extend that to the kitchen. Whatever your reasons, here are some ideas for ways you can make your kitchen green.

Remodel Your Kitchen

This is the big one! If you are able, this is a fabulous way to green your kitchen. Here are some things to look at when you remodel.

English: Compact fluorescent light bulb
Compact fluorescent light bulb (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
* Lighting - When you remodel, you can arrange for more eco-friendly lighting. Skylights are ideal, but you can also make the most efficient use of energy-efficient lighting such as CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) or LEDs (light emitting diodes). And a remodel can also open up space and let in more light from the existing windows.

* Appliances - Replacing your old appliances with energy-efficient ones helps your green efforts. Before tossing out your old appliances, though, make sure they really are less efficient. If not, then it would be less wasteful and worthwhile to have them refurbished. If you do decide to discard your old appliances, donate them to Habitat for Humanity or other charitable organizations.

* Flooring - Choose natural, sustainable flooring material like cork, bamboo, mango wood, linoleum (not to be confused with synthetic vinyl flooring), or eucalyptus wood. Natural tiles are also good choices, as are tiles made from recycled rubber. Be sure to dispose of your old flooring responsibly - contact your solid waste authority to see if it can be recycled or donated. 

* Countertops - There are lots of green options for countertops. You can do mosaic tops on your existing counters, or replace them entirely with something eco-friendly like PaperStone or mango wood. Again, donate or recycle your old countertops.

A small, modern kitchen with popular stainless...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
* Green Extras - If you remodel your kitchen, you can arrange to have a worm compost bin built right in, as well as convenient recycling containers.

Save Water

We use a lot of water in the kitchen. Go green by saving water in the kitchen - install low-flow aerators or faucets, pre-rinse your dishes in a sink full of water rather than under running water, and turn off the water when you are scrubbing pots and pans. If possible, use rain water to rinse dishes. And when you rinse vegetables and fruits, use a pan of water and then pour the water on your plants in your sustainable garden.

Save Energy

Little things can add up to make your kitchen greener. Even if you have energy-efficient appliances, that doesn't mean it's acceptable to waste. For example, don't hold the refrigerator door open, and don't open the oven when something is cooking inside. And last but not least, only run your dishwasher when it is full.
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