The key elements of sustainable kitchen design
Green living practices have finally started gaining the necessary recognition and momentum as an increasing number of people are getting on the sustainability bandwagon. So, if you are planning to renovate your kitchen or perhaps install a new one, you probably would have considered going green.
Adopting an eco-friendly approach when planning for your fitted kitchen installation requires making critical decisions as you take into account your lifestyle, budget and requirements.
These decisions might not be as simple but fortunately, there are many eco-conscious products available in the market that make going green easy.
In this piece, we will discuss ways to design a sustainable kitchen as we tailor it around the key sustainability elements that revolve around energy efficiency and regenerative abundance.
Sustainable Kitchen Worktops
When it comes to kitchen worktops, for most homeowners, granite and marble seem to be the go-to choice. But, for sustainable kitchen design, you should know that these materials are sourced at a great cost to the environment. When mining for these naturally-occurring minerals, our ecosystem suffers from irreversible damages. As these minerals are heavy, it takes immense energy and resources to move each slab from one place to another as it travels from the quarry to the store and ultimately into your kitchen.
Thankfully, there are many recyclable options available that can be used to build worktops that are beautiful and aesthetic. For instance, you can use salvaged wood and upcycle it to create stunning kitchen worktops. It is important to remember that the upcycled materials you source have not been subjected to chemical treatments.
Choosing the Right Kitchen Appliances
In order to maintain energy efficiency in your kitchen, the first and most important rule is to limit the number of appliances you are going to need. As you adorn your newly installed kitchen with fittings, give a good thought to the absolute essentials you require. Do you really need an electric can opener when the manual one works just as fine? Consider replacing your electric coffee pot with a French Press maker or simply opt for a non-electric model.
When it comes to the more prominent kitchen appliances like the refrigerator or the dishwasher, ensure that you purchase models with Energy Star labels. These labels are proof of the appliance’s energy efficiency as they help you reduce your energy consumption and save money.
Proper Kitchen Ventilation
Most of us think that the only time that we actually need ventilation is when we accidentally set our food on fire and the smoke alarm goes off. However, having good ventilation in place is a good idea as most kitchens have stovetops and ovens installed. These appliances need to have a proper breathing area to prevent the accumulation of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases.
Lack of proper kitchen ventilation will also increase the temperature inside your home meaning your air conditioning has to work extra hard to maintain comfort in the room. When your heating/cooling system works extra hard, it will end up consuming more power which means you are likely to pay higher energy bills.
Long story short, ensure that there’s ample ventilation in your kitchen. For best results, install kitchen hoods.
Sustainable Kitchen Flooring
Every kitchen needs a floor that’s durable, strong and healthy. If wood is your go-to option, look for certified flooring that ranks better on the durability scale. Opting for a robust and hard material is ideal as you won’t have to worry about dents and damage over the years.
You can also choose floors made of natural stone made from granite, marble, quartz and other rocks available in local quarries. With natural stones, you don’t have to worry about VOCs. What’s more, these stones have the ability to absorb heat from the sun as they add warmth to your home naturally especially during the colder months.
Ensure that you source these materials locally as significant energy costs are associated with the transporting of this weighty mineral.
Kitchen is perhaps the best room in your home to showcase beautiful light fixtures. At the same time, its equally important that the lights installed are functional and serve the purpose. The solution is simple – opt for beautiful lighting options that are not only aesthetic but also energy efficient. For phenomenal lighting, go for layers with integrated LEDs that light up the room at large and use LED bulbs on walls. Choose pendant lights right above your kitchen island with LED filament bulbs.
Irrespective of your choice, opt for LEDs that dress the room up in warmth. For best results, don’t forget to install dimmers.
Being green and sustainable with your kitchen design will go a long way in improving your carbon footprint. Don’t shy away from recycled and upcycled materials when renovating your kitchen.
As you adopt a green approach, you can start thinking of ways to green the other areas of your home to further reduce your impact on the environment.
As heating and cooling consume a significant amount of energy, it is best to invest in air source heat pump installation as it produces clean energy.
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