If there is a plan to install or renovate your kitchen, take a few right steps in choosing the best eco- friendly kitchen.
Best tips for an eco- friendly kitchen
- Renewable countertop materials and floor: are you aware of the fact that many countertop and floor materials such as marble, granite and exotic hardwoods are non- renewable substances? This means if they are removed from the Earth’s crust to get converted into countertops or flooring, they are exhausted forever.
An eco- friendly kitchen greatly focuses on the sources which are renewable for countertops, cabinets and floors. Like cork or bamboo floors to get a wood look or natural linoleum for tiles. Choose concrete for countertops as the use recycled and crushed granite for making newly looking granite countertops.
- By being energy efficient: switch to those appliances that are energy efficient, which means they use lesser amount of energy than what the standard appliances use and what the appliances of 5 years old or more use.
Switch to sustainable stoves or convection oven which uses a very less amount of energy to turn the things hot. Also you should replace the incandescent lights with fluorescent lights.
- Making use of low VOC stains and paints: VOCs, also known as volatile organic compounds come out as gases from various liquids or solids, including certain stains and paints. There are several chemicals in VOCs which may cause harm to both humans and environment.
Make use of acrylic enamels instead of oil– based enamels as they are low in VOC content are environmental friendly too. Try to only use such paints as they have low VOC content.
- Reuse, recycle and restore: we know that recycling is the best way to save the environment. More we put into recycling; more we are saving the environment. Fit your kitchen with recyclable things. It could be anything from your cabinet units rolling out to give separate bins for dumping up the recyclables, or to some spot fixed for any simple bin.
Kitchen waste is generated in huge quantities, much of which is recyclable. Consider things like glass jars, bottles, plastic containers and aluminium cans. It is better to send them to recycling factories rather than landfills.
Set a compost heap to dispose of the food waste from your kitchen like coffee grounds, egg shells, veggie and fruit scraps and then use them for creating a herb garden for an eco- friendly kitchen.
Wherever possible, restore and reuse whatever you can do in your kitchen, instead of just throwing them out or replacing it. Solid cabinets of wood can be restored by painting. Similarly the carcasses of the cabinet can be reused to practically store the garbage or to repurpose them into the cabinets for bathroom storages.
- Go green with your kitchen using natural cleansers: switch to natural cleaners instead of buying chemicals to perform cleaning task. Vinegar and lemon juice, both are natural sanitizers. You can easily use baking soda to replace sour cleansers.
Put some coarse salt over half of the lemon. Rub it to sanitize the wooden boards. Appliances except these of stainless steel and windows can be cleaned using vinegar. Wipe up vinegar using newspapers to make the windows clean and streak free.
- Bringing bags of your own to buy groceries from the supermarkets: this is definitely easy to do, but we hardly keep in mind doing it. Invest in some stylish bags that you like and bring them with you for buying groceries at the store. Commit to keep them in the car and use them always.
Bring them out, unload them and put them back in your car so that you may not forget to carry them again.
- Growing your own herbs: if you love cooking, grow up your herbs at home. It is an eco –friendly practise for your kitchen to keep it green. You may grow them outside at your garden or can even plant them inside the kitchen at the countertops.
- Water filtration: you may save a lot of money on bottled water by setting up a filtration system of your own in your eco- friendly kitchen. This will keep you healthy as well.
- Run the dishwasher only if it is full: studies have proved that using dishwashers can save water and energy then washing them by hand. But a lot of water is wasted if you wash them in the dishwasher which is not full. Always run the dishwasher at the end of the day when it is full at the maximum. Wake up early in the morning to clean up the load of dishes.
- Prefer glass over plastic containers: though glass containers are expensive, but they last for long and do not contain as much chemicals as the plastic containers have. Mason jar is the best and inexpensive option over the plastic jars you own now.
- Replace Teflon cookwares: if there are PTFE or non- stick pans in the kitchen arsenal, you should ditch them. If put at high temperature, the non- stick coating of the cookwares release toxic fumes that may affect the air quality and the pets too. The safest option is to cast a stainless- steel or iron cookware on sustainable stoves.
- Eliminate the use of paper towel: you might have got used to paper towels. But you may get an eco- friendly kitchen if you rely over kitchen towels or rags to clean and maintain your kitchen. Recycle the old wash clothes and hand towels into rags and be sure that there are sufficient kitchen towels around you at the time of need.
- Add fresh greenery: if there isn’t any counter space available, hang up some green herbs. Water them regularly to keep them fresh.
- Adding low- flow aerators in the kitchen sink: 700 gallons of water can be saved by installing an aerator in the kitchen by a family. This means saving a water bill of 48$.