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Creating a Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Kitchen


April 22 is Earth Day, making this the best month to update your kitchen to a more sustainable and eco-friendlier hub of your home. Updating your kitchen with new energy-efficient appliances is one way to make your home more earth-friendly. But it also means focusing on using organic materials to limit the use of artificial substances in the kitchen. A “green” kitchen can also incorporate natural elements into everyday items such as utensils and cookware, ensuring that these are also durable, sustainable and ethically sourced.

Sustainable kitchen materials provide environmental, social and economic benefits, while protecting the environment over the material’s whole life cycle – from the formation of the raw material, to installation, until final disposal. Examples of sustainable kitchen materials include reclaimed timber, birch plywood, bamboo, linoleum and cork.

Energy Efficient Appliances

By updating your kitchen appliances — fridge, oven, dishwasher, washing machine and dryers — will significantly use less energy than older appliances thanks to modern technology. Energy-efficient appliances are purposely designed to use as little resources like water and electricity as possible, while still performing its function well. While replacing everything at once may be costly, even investing in one appliance at a time will greatly reduce your energy costs to make a positive impact on your environment.

Eco-Friendly Lighting Options

The lighting industry has made great strides to expand their options energy-efficient LED lighting with the plan to eventually phase out halogen bulbs. Switch to LED bulbs to light up your kitchen because they have an expected lifespan of 10,000 hours over conventional incandescent bulbs — they are definitely worth the investment!

Organic Cabinets

Bamboo for cabinets is an excellent environmental option because it is an extremely fast-growing grass that reaches maturity in 5 to 7 years for sustainable harvesting. Bamboo is considered a rapidly renewable resource, and in kitchen cabinetry, its veneers are cut using ultra-thin slices of wood which optimize the wood for maximum yield.

Sustainability Paints

Even just giving your kitchen a fresh coat of color can boost your earth-friendly mojo! Look for paint that has been made from recycled, natural, or bio-based content. When considering a new kitchen color, think about how eco-friendly the paint is and how it will perform.

Recycled Countertops

Recycled materials for kitchen countertops — like aluminium scrap, post-industrial plastics and even paper — are being made into innovative and interesting-looking worktop materials. Low maintenance and even used in past aerospace applications, paper countertops are made of recycled-paper composite. If you are looking for a stone substitute, choose a composite of no less than 60% aluminum scrap.

Sustainable Flooring

Organic flooring options can make your kitchen a little “greener.” Bamboo, which is actually a type of grass, comes a wide variety of colors. Its durability makes it easy to and affordable to install. Glass tiles are a unique and elegant flooring choice. They are mold and mildew proof, easy to maintain and long-lasting — plus, they can be made from 100% recycled glass. Believe it or not, but linoleum is one of the oldest and most common kitchen flooring options. Linoleum is an all-natural mix of cork dust, tree resin, linseed oil, wood flour and ground limestone. This earthy compound is easy to maintain and lasts long.

By asking the right questions, and being more responsible with material selection, kitchens of the future and the environment around us will be a whole lot better off than in decades past!

Source: KITCH!N

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