Whether or not you are taking on a new remodeling project or just a minor upgrade, your kitchen can always use a green facelift. You might not have the entire green thing down pat from repurposed wood floors to cork walls, but you can always spruce up your kitchen and green it up at the same time. Given that the kitchen is at the center of your home, your eco-friendly efforts won't go unnoticed. Here are 10 ideas that can help improve your kitchen while taking care of the environment.
- Check for leaks – one of the biggest issues in the kitchen (and one of the most common ones you can find) is how much water goes to waste. This is a major point you have to improve if you want your kitchen to be truly green. So, you should check faucets and see if washers need replacing. Additionally, you should consider installing energy efficient faucets, as well.
- Let there be light – install energy saving bulbs wherever you can and take full advantage of sunlight. Open up natural light by removing any heavy curtains or blinds. Consider installing skylights in your kitchen as well as bigger windows facing in the most appropriate direction.
- Use natural and organic materials – use natural resources such as wood for flooring. Natural wood and bamboo make wonderful choices that aren't just green but look great. Cork for walls, if you are doing a remodeling, is a great choice for going green as well. Even countertops are made using recycled paper to save natural resources! If you are to change something, always ask for the green option - they will definitely will surprise you.
- It’s all about the accessories – incorporate all natural accessories such as one hundred percent cotton towels, wool throw rugs. Don’t forget about reusable grocery shopping bags and bamboo cutting boards. The options are endless and may even be the most fun you can have in your kitchen after the project is done.
- Dodge the toxic chemicals – whether in your design or in your cleaning methods, dodge the toxic chemicals in your home. There are plenty of natural cleaning products for your home and you can even make your own if you want. In fact, we're pretty sure that you can make an amazing cleaner out of things that are already in your house right now - vinegar, baking soda, lemon.
- Pots and Pans – go for stainless steel and good old fashioned cast iron. These pots and pans will last you a life time and you won’t be contributing to more waste for the environment. Even iron and metal cooking tools are better choices than plastic and wood that rot, melt and crack over time. Besides, pots and pans made out of these materials are the best option for any food, since they don't degrade and don't invade your food with funny odors or tastes.
- Rethink your cooking methods – if you have an outdoor barbeque, try using it more often and better yet, try using it for new recipes as well. What about using an electric grill for many of your recipes rather than using the gas stove? Don't have an outdoor barbeque? You should definitely want one, since they aren't just amazing to cook with, but are also the center of a fun reunion!
- Energy efficient appliances – if you are fortunate enough to be purchasing new appliances, why not get energy efficient ones at that? Don’t forget also, if you are cooking, why not batch cook for the week and save time as well as energy? Make a larger casserole than intended or make an extra batch of meatballs while your oven is on. Your schedule and your pocketbook will thank you.
- Grow your own green – why not try your hand at growing your own herbs? You will avoid buying and having to throw out those plastic spice bottles. Also, growing some green in your own garden saves time and energy that you would be using to go to the grocery store. With loads of green goodies in your garden, you save gas.
- Plant some green – put some greenery right in your own kitchen. Plants cleanse the air and provide a great way to remove toxins from the room as well. Besides, who doesn't love a plant as part of a room?
You can think these are too-basic tips for a greener kitchen. But there's people that might be overlooking a wonderful opportunity to make their kitchen greener simply because they didn't think about the simplest of options. Are you one of them? Then get out of the computer and go green up your kitchen!
Posted April 26, 2015
by Gabriel Posternak.