Here there 7 steps ideas to a green kitchen remodel. When it comes to green remodeling, it’s all about making your kitchen work better for both you and the environment. A green home design comes with advantages that will save you money, make your home healthier and give you a chance to help improve the environment rather than exhaust its resources. If you are trying to think of ways to “green” your kitchen design, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest are the perfect places to draw inspiration for new ideas.
At a time when the environment and climate change, are issues in our daily lives, environmentally friendly kitchen remodeling trends can be very helpful, when considering a renovation. The kitchen is the heart of the family home, and needs to be both functional and family friendly. By following these trends, remodeling a kitchen can be achieved without harm to the environment.
There are several basic environmental issues which need to be addressed when remodeling a kitchen. Resource conservation, the management of the world’s resources, for the benefit of both this generation and for future generations, is a high priority. The supply of energy to the public, is not environmentally sustainable, as consumers, the efficiency of lighting and appliances is an important choice. When renovating a kitchen, the environmental war cry, ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ should ring out. In the redesign, a way to incorporate these issues, should be ensured.
Green Remodeling Ideas for the Kitchen
The kitchen is truly the heart of the home. Because the cost of a kitchen remodel makes it one of the more expensive home makeovers, make sure you carefully plan what you want so you can find the best solutions to your design needs and priorities. Consider the following green remodeling ideas for your kitchen:
1. Use Renewable Resources
With a bamboo stalk’s capability to grow up to 19 feet in a couple of months, it is a wonder this renewable resource was not used long ago. Hardwood floors and other items made from renewable materials such as bamboo, cork or eucalyptus are as durable and beautiful as those made from slow-growing trees, but they are less taxing on the environment.
2. Shop Locally for a Countertop
When you want to show off a new green kitchen, use a material for your countertops that did not cost thousands of dollars in fuel to import or transport. Look into getting a countertop made out of locally mined natural stones, concrete from a local fabricator, a green laminate, stainless steel, terrazzo or glass, clay or porcelain tiles. Whichever countertop option you choose, make sure the material is water-resistant and durable.
3. Breathe Easier, Feel Healthier
A positive side effect of green home design is that it often results in a dwelling that’s healthier for its inhabitants as well as the environment. Use low- or no-VOC paints and finishes, which produce less harmful gasses when painted onto the walls of your kitchen. In addition, find cabinets that have formaldehyde-free medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or compressed agricultural plant materials instead of compressed wood products. Also, remember to include an energy-efficient exhaust hood above your range that will vent away mold-causing moisture and dangerous fumes.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, a refrigerator can use up to 14 percent of a home’s electricity. Up to 80 percent of a dishwasher’s energy goes toward heating the water it uses. With so much of your home’s energy home powering the kitchen, it makes sense to choose appliances that will make the most efficient use of it. If you are interested in green remodeling and plan to purchase new appliances for your kitchen, consider models with the Energy Star logo. And don’t forget to donate your old appliances to those in need or take them to a recycling center that will make sure the harmful chemicals are disposed of properly.
5. Incorporate Energy-Efficient Lighting
Lighting is another important element in green home design. The best way to reduce the amount of electricity it takes to light your kitchen is to take advantage of the sun’s rays. Consider installing energy-saving windows and skylights in your kitchen. Daylighting, in addition to using compact fluorescent or LED lights, will pay for itself in only a few years.
6. Encourage Yourself to Recycle
Make it easier to sort and store your recyclable items by incorporating a kitchen recycling center.
A kitchen recycling center is a modified cabinet, tucked away out of sight, where you can also reuse the paper or plastic bags a grocery store gives you. Place the items to recycle in the appropriate compartment, and take it out to the bigger recycling bin once it is full. If you’re serious about reducing trash, you can also include a built-in composting system.
7. Salvage What You Can
Salvaging is an important component of green remodeling. Items in your existing kitchen, such as sinks, floors, cabinets, fixtures, towel bars, shelves and hooks, all have a potential reuse in your new kitchen (or in other parts of your home) if they are properly removed. Incorporate what you already own into your green kitchen remodel as much as possible to save on the cost of transportation and prevent items from ending up in a landfill. In addition, you can also use salvaged items in your design. For example, make a backsplash out of salvaged tiles.
Green home design is a long-term trend that will outlast any fad. For a spectacular kitchen remodel, Portland and other Northwest green communities can give you a plethora of design ideas that will fulfill your kitchen design needs.
Supplying materials for a renovation, provides lots of opportunities to be environmental. By sourcing reused or recycled materials, from specialist suppliers, can provide a house with character, and the project with a lower bill. When new materials are to be used, sourcing from reputable and environmentally sustainable sources is desirable. Dramatic results can be obtained when using old furniture, in unusual places. Another resource which needs to be conserved is drinking water. Modern technology is providing ways of managing water supply and use within the house, to conserve water and help environmental reserves to remain.
The prime use of a kitchen is to prepare food, therefore any appliances need to be functional. However, the energy usage of a kitchen also needs to be considered. The mains energy use of a kitchen can be reduced greatly, when a micro-generation plant is in use. Micro-generation, using solar and wind generators, can reduce a households power costs greatly. By using electrical appliances, within the kitchen, the appliances may be able to run for free.
The choice of appliances available is staggering. However, additional factors need to be considered before purchase. If the appliances are oil or gas powered, the cost of running those appliances is likely to rise, as the reserves of gas and oil are now diminishing. When choosing appliances, the energy efficiency rating should be examined, to ensure a reduction in green house gases is achieved.
Most households recycle and compost regularly, but it can be time consuming. By incorporating, recycling and composting repositories, directly into the kitchen design, the waste stream can be managed more efficiently. By being able to separate waste at the point of consumption, instead of having to sort it as an after-thought, the processes of recycling and composting will go more smoothly.
Environmentally friendly kitchen remodeling trends really can help the environment. They can also help the renovators, to have a more functional kitchen, and to save money, both in the short-term and also in the long-term. A positive difference can be made to the environment, and benefits will also be enjoyed by the family, by employing some of these remodeling trends.