The environment is at the top of a lot of people's agendas these days, but many options that bill themselves as "eco-friendly" or "green" are less than ideal for the environment.
The kitchen is the number one place in the home for emission creation with numerous appliances and furnishings contributing to overall efficiency.
If you are designing your sustainable kitchen, then we have some ideas that will really make a difference to the sustainability of the whole project.
Sustainable Kitchen Materials
Countertops and other kitchen furnishings are heavy duty compared to the furniture in the rest of the house. This means that picking out the right sustainable materials is key because there is so much of it used.
You can go for locally-sourced materials meaning that you will reduce your carbon footprint, however, you can go one step further and order a complete sustainable kitchen that was made without harming any trees. Yes, that is now possible with our Real Green range that is made from bamboo. Eco kitchens like these don't contribute to the global deforestation.
VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are chemicals that release into the air at room temperature.
These are hazardous to long term health and far more common than you might think. It is always worth it to check if anything in you are buying uses VOCs, and if it does then it is not worth buying.
Low-VOC materials might have to do, but do check thoroughly for No-VOC materials first.
Salvage & Upcycling
Adding a bit of character to your kitchen can help with sustainability, too!
The emissions involved in producing new sinks, counters and furnishings can be very high, so spending a little time going through auction sites and garage sales for antique or upcycled alternatives can really pay dividends – for your wallet, and for the planet.
With a little creativity, you could even repurpose a worktable into a portable kitchen island, saving money and the planet in the process.
The number one thing you can do to cut emissions from your kitchen is to pay attention to energy efficiency.
Buying only A rated (or 5 star) appliances can slash your energy usage, and for most modern appliances you don't pay for it in extra effort or wasted time.
A novel idea is to plan for a powerstrip, keeping all of your appliances on one circuit. This makes it quick and easy to power off all of your kitchen appliances every time you leave the house.
Composting has long been a staple of the environmentally conscious lifestyle, but it can be messy and unpleasant.
Luckily there are in-counter composting bins available that make composting easier and more attractive even to people who would usually dump their food with general waste.
Let's finish with the finish – and not all finishes are equal.
Finishes should be free from VOCs and be 100% nontoxic while still delivering a great look and feel that ties your kitchen together.