It’s hard to ignore the effects of climate change on the planet, and while using reusable cloth napkins may not stop the threat, it can definitely make a difference. As a homeowner, you can keep your living space as green as possible to help preserve the environment. Plus, eco-friendly solutions can help you create a stylish and cost-effective kitchen. If you’re planning to remodel your cooking area in a sustainable way, here are 8 hacks to get you started.
Invest in quartz countertops
Unlike granite countertops, quartz countertops are eco-friendly because the material comes right from the earth, translating into a longer replacement life. Kitchen experts recommend quartz especially for its durability, as it functions like a solid surface, making it nearly indestructible. It requires low maintenance, as spills can be easily cleaned with soap, water and a sponge. At the same time, it provides a three-dimensional look and comes in many different colours, which means you won’t have any trouble finding something that fits perfectly into your kitchen. Moreover, choosing quartz countertops is a great idea if you want to have a healthy, clean surface that won’t grow bacteria harmful to your health.
Use recycled materials
You can style your kitchen with recycled materials in many ways, like using repurposed carpet tiles. They won’t only make your space cosier but will also provide better indoor air quality. Besides carpet tiles, you can alternatively opt for reclaimed wood flooring, which will help reduce waste, or recycled rubber, which will make a statement in your cooking area. Another way to reduce your home's environmental footprint is to use recycled steel for the walls, as this material can repeatedly go through the recycling process, making it sustainable. If you want your home to emanate an industrial vibe, consider opting for cork instead.
Choose energy-efficient appliances
Instead of the energy-hungry appliances that use too much power, you should opt for products that help you lower your carbon footprint while also reducing your energy bill. Energy-efficient appliances can help the environment and improve the quality of your life, as they are incredibly convenient. Some of them require low maintenance, saving you both time and money in the long run. If you love spending time in the kitchen, investing in an energy-efficient refrigerator can be an excellent idea to make your space greener. Because of their inefficient lighting and cooling systems, older fridges can be truly expensive, costing homeowners billions in utility fees. Hence, it only makes sense to replace them with an eco-friendlier product. Similarly, an energy-efficient dishwasher can save you significant costs while helping reduce wasted water.
Look for eco-friendly cabinets
We all know how important cabinets are in the design of a kitchen. However, they are also the most significant footprint in the cooking area, making it critical to look for options that are manufactured with sustainability in mind. For example, solid wood kitchens provide a timeless, elegant design that can work well with different colour schemes. Many homeowners find real wood an excellent choice for creating a cosy and visually appealing kitchen that’s also functional. They offer depth and natural warmth and are available in a wide range of styles that can match everyone’s preferences. Bamboo is another great option for cabinetry, helping maintain a fresh look and ensuring air quality in the space. Plus, bamboo cabinets are incredibly cost-effective, which is another reason you should consider them.
Opt for sustainable lighting solutions
Lighting makes up a significant percentage of your electricity consumption, so it’s crucial to replace traditional bulbs with energy-efficient ones. This will help you lower greenhouse emissions and, at the same time, decrease your electricity bills – it’s a win-win! LEDs are a great solution, and although they may be a bit expensive, you will get your money back in time because they are designed to last longer, helping save energy and resulting in fewer lifetime replacements. Besides reducing your carbon footprint, LEDs also provide safety because they operate at a lower voltage, thus emitting less heat. Plus, they translate into more brightness, which is essential in this space where you use knives and burners to ensure you won’t get injured while cooking.
Avoid products with VOC content
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds found in building materials, adhesives, and composite wood products, pollute the air, posing significant health risks. Therefore, it is imperative to opt for materials that have low VOC content or none at all, as this will help create a healthy kitchen. Instead, opt for products made of composite materials like MDF, which is biodegradable. It is safe and sustainable and can be purchased at an affordable price. MDF’s manufacturing process isn’t energy-intensive compared to other products, which helps lower its carbon footprint, thus conserving resources.
Buy from local suppliers
Transporting a product over great distances translates into significant carbon emissions. The solution is to shop locally, limiting the resources involved in the process. Plus, doing so helps support the local economy, enabling businesses to flourish. However, if this isn’t an option and you want to buy online instead, keep in mind to check eco policies when purchasing from a specific company. This helps ensure you buy from a business that has sustainable practices and cares for Mother Earth.
Take the time to plan the design
If you want to achieve the best results in your kitchen’s design, you must not undertake the project in a rush. Thoughtful planning is required to make choices that will still meet your needs and wants in a few months or years. If you don’t know much about interior design, consider asking for expert help. Getting the design right will help cut costs on future repair, reducing the need to replace cheap, low-quality materials. This is the key to building a durable and sustainable kitchen that also provides an appealing aesthetic.
Going green may be seen as a trend, but it is more than that. The impact of climate change is raising concerns, and it is within your power to contribute to a more sustainable future. An eco-friendly kitchen benefits the planet, increases your home's efficiency, and reduces your expenses. So, use these hacks and start planning the design of your sustainable kitchen.