Ecology in the Kitchen – Are You Green With Envy?

We have collated a number of kitchen design ideas from recycling food waste to green products that do not necessarily add expense to your home improvement project. Indeed, the long term cost savings made from energy efficient performing materials in the kitchen should reduce your carbon footprint for years to come.

Here are some high-impact environmentally friendly kitchen design ideas:

o Kitchen Recycling Centre

Look for sets of kitchen bins that allow you to easily separate rubbish – paper, food, bottles, plastics, etc.

o Waste Disposal machines

These are ideal for reducing the physical amount of food waste down to small pieces. Then start a wormery where worms can compost down the food waste more efficiently. Use the compost on your garden.

o Energy-Efficient Kitchen Appliances

When considering your refrigerator, dishwasher or washing machine purchases for the kitchen remodeling project, each appliance will have an Energy Rating. Advanced technology now means that appliances can use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than standard models

o Induction Hobs

Induction cooking uses electricity to produce a magnetic field that reacts with the ferric content in stainless steel, cast iron, and enameled steel cookware. This excites the molecules and produces heat. The cookware (and therefore the food) gets hot, but the stove-top doesn’t. Less heat is wasted and the food heats faster, saving time and energy. Induction cooking is about 90 percent energy efficient as compared to gas and electric radiant, which are 50 to 60 percent efficient.

o Dishwashers and Washing Machines

Use a full load in your dishwasher and washing machine. If you are thinking of buying a new machine, make sure you buy a water efficient model. Have a look at our website where we have collated more information on water efficient appliances.

o Stained Concrete or Indigenous Stone Kitchen Counter-tops.

Your kitchen design should include materials that are durable and water-resistant for both counter tops and splash-backs. Stained concrete uses non-toxic, natural pigments rather than surface-applied stains. Many types of indigenous stone are available and can come from salvage sources. Make sure they are adequately sealed to prevent staining.

o Energy-Efficient Task Lighting and Lighting Controls

Kitchen designs often include two or three light settings such as general, task lighting, and mood lighting. Maximize natural light wherever possible and low voltage systems for task and mood lighting.

o Eco-Friendly Kitchen Flooring

Products manufactured from renewable forests can provide you with a beautiful, affordable and durable floor – and an environmentally responsible choice. Bamboo, cork, and eucalyptus mature in roughly half the time (or less) that it takes hardwoods, grown in colder climates, to reach market size.

o Wall Insulation

Nothing improves the comfort and energy efficiency of a kitchen more than plenty of insulation in the exterior walls. To add insulation to existing kitchen walls, blow fibrous insulation material – fiberglass or natural materials like cellulose and mineral wool – into enclosed wall, floor and roof cavities. “Dense packing” the insulation inhibits air circulation within the cavities, thereby eliminating a major cause of condensation, moisture problems and air leakage.

o Kitchen Windows, Doors and Skylights

Well-designed windows and skylights can lighten the feel of a kitchen and save on fuel bills as well. Ensure the products used have low heat emission glass with solar shading, which increases the room’s comfort, protects items from sun damage and reduces condensation on windows.

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