Many people are interested in the environment these days, and this really comes into focus when you are working on a remodel for your home. Remodeling your kitchen is an excellent time to put environmentally friendly features into the home, and from major components, such as countertops, to smaller appliances, such as a water purifier, consider the following for a green kitchen:
Sustainable Cabinet Options
One green option that you can consider during a kitchen remodel is a sustainable kitchen cabinet. These are made of wood that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. They have glue that is formaldehyde-free and a finish that contains little to no toxins as they are made with low volatile organic compounds. Some of this material is also recycled.
Green Countertop Options
There are also green countertop options that are made of sustainable or recycled materials and made with manufacturing processes that are eco-friendly. There are green countertops available made of recycled paper and glass, cement and reclaimed materials such as fly ash. There are also countertops made of bamboo fibers and those made of reclaimed wood. In some cases, this wood comes from wood from warehouses, commercial buildings and even from barns.
Eco-Friendly Flooring Options
Homeowners will also find a number of eco-friendly flooring options available, including those made of cork and linoleum. Both of these materials are made of renewable resources, they are durable and look great. Linoleum in a popular flooring option, and it is made of biodegradable and renewable materials including linseed oil. There are no vapors or toxins that come with linoleum, and it is available in many colors and patterns. It can also take a lot of traffic, and it offers cushioning under your feet. This material is resistant to water, but it can stain, so it may be a good idea to coat it before laying it.
Cork is another option for those looking for sustainable flooring, and it is made from the bark of a tree that grows back again and again. The harvesting of cork is highly regulated and it is done in a way that reduces the impact on the environment. This is a waterproof material and is springy underfoot. It is made into tiles or planks and has a slight texture.
Choose Appliances With Energy Star Properties
When choosing your appliances, pick those that have Energy Star ratings. These appliances reduce consumption and helps to save on the cost of utilities. These appliances have been tested and rated in a number of categories, and depending on where you are, there may be regional rebates for buying and using these appliances.
Go Green With A New Dishwasher
There are also dishwashers on the market that offer green options such as quick-wash and energy-saving cycles. These cycles usually run for a shorter amount of time, which helps to save energy and water. Green dishwashers also often have an air-dry option, which uses a fan instead of a heating element. Dishwashers that have Energy Star ratings can be up to 25 percent more efficient when compared to government standards, and by upgrading a 10-year-old dishwasher to a new one can save as much as $40 each year on the coast of energy.
New Refrigerators Can Save Money Over Time
It is also possible to save money on energy costs and go green by purchasing a new refrigerator with your kitchen remodel. These days, refrigerator manufacturers are improving the technology they use, and in the past 20 years, refrigerators have become more than 75 percent more efficient. This saves homeowners up to $100 per year, and with an Energy Star rating, you can add $20 to $30 onto that.
Water Purifiers Bring Fresh Water
Being green in the kitchen is also easy to do when you have small appliances such as a water purifier. With this appliance, the water that comes out of the tap is free from contaminants, and when you choose one with an activated charcoal filter, you can expect it to remove bacteria, pesticides and heavy metals in addition to bad tastes and odors.
There are several eco-friendly lighting options to choose for your kitchen remodel, too, and these include compact and fluorescent lamps, which use up to 90 percent less energy than traditional lamps. These lamps can help a homeowner save up to $30 or $40 each year on their lighting costs.
Recycle As Much as Possible
Finally, as you complete your kitchen remodel, it is important that you ask your contractor to recycle as much as possible. The construction field produces a lot of garbage, and when a kitchen remodel occurs, much of what is removed from the old kitchen ends up in a landfill. By talking to your contractor about recycling or reusing these materials, however, it is possible to limit what ends up in the trash.