Is green the new gold? Given people’s continued interest in ecology and reducing their carbon footprint, it could well be. If you want to develop an eco-friendly home kitchen, then you could not only save a lot of money but also make an important contribution to the sustainability of resources on the planet. Perhaps green is the new gold, though you’re unlikely to benefit as much financially as you might if you raided Fort Knox – and, to be fair, if Goldfinger couldn’t get away with it, your chances may be slim!
Going green with your kitchen
Your kitchen is probably the major hub of your home, the most-used area in the house. It needs to be hardwearing, given all the meals that will be prepared there, and comfortable to work in as well as easy to keep clean. When you’re planning to revamp it, think about the advantages of going as eco-friendly as possible for you and your family, not to mention for the environment.
Go for recycled steel and glass
Glass and stainless steel look really good in a kitchen, with smooth and sharp lines to create an efficient yet attractive atmosphere. Items such as stainless steel sinks are usually made with recycled material – up to 70 per cent – so this makes a real difference to reducing your footprint on the planet. A busy kitchen needs hardwearing worktops, and recycled glass tops are not only that, but they also have anti-bacterial protection, helping to make your kitchen safer.
Turn off those appliances
You’re probably more than familiar with standby modes for computers and TVs, and may have caught up with the fact that if you leave them on standby, especially overnight, they will still be consuming electricity unnecessarily. It’s the same for your kitchen appliances. If they’re on standby, you’re just wasting electricity, and at the end of the month, it’ll hit you in the pocket. Turn them off manually, and if you tend to forget, get a standby saver that will automatically switch off all your appliances when you’re not using them.
Make sure you get appliances that have a rating that means you use the least energy possible. The more energy-efficient your appliances are – fridges and freezers, in particular, as they are permanently on – the more money you’ll save.
Use sustainable timber
When you’re using wood to refurbish your kitchen, aim to go for sustainable timber. Wood looks great in a kitchen, so if your flooring, worktops and floors are going to be wood, then go for the eco-friendly option. You could buy boards and planks that come from old properties that would look good in your overall design. Another attractive option for kitchens are planet-friendly plantation shutters, manufactured from sustainable wood. These are easy to wipe clean, can be designed to fit your windows exactly, and have louvers to allow you to let in as much or as little light as you want.
Recycle everything you can
Recycling is an important part of maintaining an eco-friendly environment, and your kitchen is no different. It can, of course, be a bit of a hassle, but if you have the space, you can add in some stylish bins so that you can recycle different kinds of kitchen waste. Plastic and glass bottles, cardboard and paper as well as metal tins are all good for recycling, so you can play your part by regularly putting them out for collection or by going to your nearest recycling centre.
Think about your water use
For many people in the world, water is a luxury, and water supplies even in the Western world are constantly under pressure, often from unexpected droughts. You can do a lot to help by limiting the amount of water you use in the kitchen. Having an efficient washing machine not only saves water but also saves you money. Always aim to run it on a full load so that you get the optimum efficiency. It’s the same with your dishwasher: always aim to wash a full load because it’s a false economy if you don’t. A half-load setting can use more than half the water and energy than for a full load. Remember also that washing the equivalent of a full load by hand can use a vast amount of water compared to your fully-laden dishwasher.
By making your kitchen as eco-friendly as possible, not only will you have a stylish room, but one that also helps to cut energy costs significantly and contribute to the protection of the environment.