When it comes to kitchen remodeling, there’s more to it than just picking paint colors and countertops. In this day and age, environmental consciousness is what’s on trend in kitchen design. You can create your dream kitchen and reduce your footprint at the same time.
Green Materials to Use in Kitchen Remodeling
There are more eco-friendly options for countertops than you might think. You can find countertops made of bamboo, post-consumer recycled glass, paper treated with resin, recycled glass mixed with cement, or scrap aluminum combined with resin. These materials are durable like mainstream countertops, but leave less of a footprint because of their sustainability.
Recycled stone-chipped composite countertops in particular look a lot like granite and are also durable.
Bamboo can also be used on the backsplash and as flooring. Another sustainable flooring option is cork. Cork is made from the bark of trees, is mold and mildew resistant, and absorbs sound. Also, cork trees regenerate faster than other types of trees typically used for flooring, making it more sustainable than wood.
When it comes to wall paint, be sure to pick a type that does not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are pollutants that can have both short- and long-term health consequences.
Environmentally Friendly Appliances and Fixtures
If the idea of researching the many types of kitchen appliances in order to find out which are the most environmentally friendly overwhelms you, don’t worry. The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy give approval to green appliances through their Energy Star program. Look for the Energy Star logo when shopping for new appliances to find the ones that will leave the smallest footprint and help you save money on your energy bill.
Also, investing in long-lasting appliances limits waste because you’ll need to replace them less often.
When picking out a new refrigerator/freezer combo, the ones that use the most amount of energy are the ones with a fridge on one side and a freezer on the other. The stacked option keeps in the cold better.
Another tip for going green while shopping for new appliances is to get a dishwasher. Dishwashers use less water than washing dishes by hand. An additional way to save water in the kitchen is to get a faucet installed with a flow rate of around 2.2 gallons per minute.
Lighting is another thing to consider when remodeling your kitchen to minimize your footprint. Ideally, you would maximize natural light and leave the lights off as much as you can, but if that isn’t possible due to the placement or layout of your kitchen, fluorescent lights cut down on energy by 50 percent.
Whether you’re going for a complete eco-friendly kitchen remodeling or just looking to make your footprint a bit smaller, you can always add plants to your kitchen to help clean the air, and recycle as much as you can.
Are you thinking of an eco-friendly kitchen remodel? Call the experts at Falk Construction to help you with your project. We have decades of experience remodeling kitchens, bathrooms and basements, and we’re general contractors too. We can help show you how to create an environmentally conscious kitchen. Call today to get started.