Create an Eco-Friendly Kitchen – 5 Decorating Ideas
By now we’re all too familiar with the green movement and the growing trend to be more environmentally friendly. When we’re trying to add some “green” to our lives, one of the first places homeowners turn to is the kitchen. There are more ways to transform your kitchen into an inviting, eco-friendly haven than one can list, but if you’re looking to go green in your home, the kitchen is a great place to start.
Here is a list of eco-friendly kitchen design ideas to help you get the ball rolling.
1. Choose Eco-Friendly Recycled Glass Worktops
There are many ways you can create the ultimate eco-friendly kitchen. Many homeowners have turned to eco-friendly recycled glass worktops. The Recycled worktop range from Granite and TREND Transformations is the perfect candidate as it is both heat resistant and cold resistant. The non-porous surface means spills won’t stain it and cleaning is very easy.
2. Recycle and Upcycle One of the most popular environmentally friendly trends at present is upcycling so why not incorporate this into important areas in your home such as your kitchen. For example, why rip out your old kitchen, creating more waste and landfill, costing you money and taking up more of your time, when a lot of your existing kitchen, such as the layout and the cabinet carcasses are in perfectly good order? Some freshly fitted kitchen doors and drawer fronts plus a new worktop will create a brand new kitchen look and feel.
3. Eco-friendly Appliances
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve heard about Energy Star appliances. The ones with the little logo sticker placed on the front that tell you the appliance is energy efficient. Well, it’s no easy feat to get your appliance labelled with the Energy Star seal of approval, and with newer technology, these appliances can save you anywhere from 10 to 50% on your household energy consumption. If your refrigerator, hob and oven or dishwasher is due for an upgrade, investigate your Energy Star options.
- Dishwashers –An efficient dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand. First see if your dishwasher can be repaired; if not, replace it with one with an Energy Star rating. Dishwashers using energy saving kitchen features and water saving kitchen features such as ‘energy-saving’ or ‘quick-wash’ cycles wash dishes in shorter time periods, saving water, energy, and time. Dishwashers with an air-dry option dry dishes with circulation fans. Or, better yet, let your dishes air dry! Energy Star models are 25% more energy efficient.
- New Refrigerators – New models are 75% more energy efficient than 20 years ago. Models with a top freezer use 10% to 25% less energy than those with a side-by-side configuration. Less cold air escapes. In the UK, we store a lot of food in the refrigerator that will actually last longer if it was kept out. For example, ethylene gas released from fruit gets trapped inside the refrigerator, causing it to go bad prematurely. A smaller refrigerator uses less electricity too, saving the environment and money.
- Induction Hobs- Another eco-friendly appliance you should strongly consider purchasing is an induction hob. Not only does this cut your cooking time in half, but induction hobs are also approximately 90% energy efficient as they waste very little heat energy.
- Convection Ovens- These ovens use a fan that quickly brings the heat source to your food so that it cooks 25 percent faster than a conventional oven.
4. Set-up a Kitchen Recycling Bins
The UK wastes more than 27 million tonnes of rubbish each year which could be recycled. So invest in a recycling bin for your kitchen. With individual bins for rubbish, paper products, glass and plastics adopt the recycling philosophy in your home. There are many all-inclusive recycling bins you can purchase for your home that make it a mindless effort to separate your paper, plastics and glass products.
The essence of going green, there’s no better place to start than by properly recycling your waste products, and this is amongst the least expensive ways to create your eco-friendly kitchen.
5. Let There be “Green” Light
As lighting can account for upwards of 10% of your household energy costs, examining your lighting options is an absolute must for any homeowner looking to create a truly green kitchen. Inviting natural light indoors might be the easiest way to cut down on energy usage, but you can follow several other effective techniques to light up your kitchen. As you map out the lighting in your eco-friendly kitchen, consider the number and type of lightbulbs you use, along with the lighting style.
- LED Lights: Do your electricity bill a favour and replace any incandescent bulbs in your kitchen with highly efficient LED lightbulbs. Choose an Energy Star-certified bulb, and you can save up to 90 percent more energy than you would with incandescent bulbs.
- Dimmer Switches: Turning the lights on full power isn’t always necessary, but standard lights don’t give you the option to turn on the lights only halfway. Install dimmer switches and save nearly 50 percent on your energy consumption when you dim the lights.
- Multiple Zones: If only certain parts of your kitchen need full illumination, consider setting up multiple lighting zones throughout the space. You’ll have to turn on the lights only where you need them the most, a practice which can help save energy.