Green kitchen designs and remodeling efforts have been a hot topic of discussion in the home remodeling industry for a number of years. According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, more than 120 million homes are at least 32 years old, and $233 billion is spent annually on remodeling them. Those older houses were built when energy was cheap and not-so-efficient, meaning that the vast majority of those home incorporate little to no “green” construction.
Green kitchen remodeling encompasses the following main principles:
- Energy efficiency
- Healthy indoor air
- Resource efficiency
These concepts, considered in relationship to each other, can help create a well-planned green kitchen design.
The first step in the process is picking the right materials. From bamboo to recycled paper and glass, reclaimed wood, and locally sourced concrete, there is a vast range of environmentally-friendly materials available for almost every component of your kitchen. Not only are these sometimes unusual materials more sustainable solutions for the environment, they are also durable and beautiful additions to your kitchen remodeling project.
Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource and can be used for almost any area of your kitchen, including cutting boards, backsplash, flooring, and countertop. It can also be an excellent choice for your cabinetry, as pictured at right in these two-tone bamboo kitchen cabinets.
Energy-efficient lighting is also high on the priority list for a green kitchen. A multi-layered lighting design is essential to ensure you not only have stylish light fixtures, but also sufficient task lighting for all the requirements of your busy kitchen. LED lights are an excellent choice for your kitchen design as they are longer lasting and use less energy. This makes them a more environmentally friendly option and also reduces your household costs by lowering electricity bills.
Energy-efficient appliances should also be considered. There are a number of factors to consider when selecting appliances to ensure you get the best choice that will minimize your energy usage. Energy Star ratings can be useful to compare your options, but simple choices like buying the correct size appliance to meet your needs will also help ensure you have the most efficient model. For example, if you buy a refrigerator that is too small for your requirements and fill it too full it will not run efficiently, but likewise a refrigerator that is too big will use more energy than you require. Side-by-side refrigerator/freezers use about 20% more energy than other models, and those with built-in ice and water dispensers also increase your electricity requirements. Carefully consider what you really need when selecting appliances and then choose only the model that you require with the best energy rating possible.
And last but not least: set up a recycling station! Kitchen design can be customized to include almost any feature required to meet your household’s needs. Beverage bars, customized wine refrigerators, and pet feeding stations are all just as likely to feature in today’s kitchen as a refrigerator or oven. So if designing your home to be more environmentally friendly is on your list of priorities, a specialized recycling station can be an ideal way to simplify your efforts to reduce waste and recycle where possible in your home.
Designing an eco-friendly kitchen can be accomplished in many ways, by making environmentally friendly choices when selecting your kitchen materials, appliances, and more. HomeTech Renovations has been a leading provider of more efficient kitchen designs throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey regions. Contact us today at 215-646-7477 or visit our contact page and schedule a free consultation with one of our professional kitchen designers.