Ecologically responsible and environmentally friendly products are the newest fad in kitchen design. While many popular choices can phase out within a season, we believe—and hope—that eco-friendly kitchen designs are here to stay. Over the years, we have noticed that homeowners are more and more concerned about the environment now than ever before.
Designing an eco-friendly kitchen remodel doesn’t have to include all recycled materials or countertops made out of soil. New (and some old) technology has made designing an environmentally responsible kitchen simple, budget-friendly and stylish.
You’ve heard us say it before—refacing your cabinetry is the best way to save time and money. But did you know that refacing could also help save the planet? Refacing uses your existing cabinets and only replaces the doors and drawer fronts, saving 75% of the materials used in a traditional kitchen remodel. Not only does refacing save you from purchasing new materials made from wood, but it also keeps 75% of your cabinets from entering a landfill, further harming the planet. Choose refacing for your next kitchen remodel, and you can save time, money and the environment.
Made in the USA
Look on the back of your shirt label, and odds are, it’s not made in America. While we can easily discern between clothes and toys that are made abroad, the same cannot be said for cabinets or countertops. Many companies are not straightforward as to where their products are made, leaving you to wonder what types of conditions your cabinets are made under and the durability of the materials. In addition, using materials made in America means they are shipped a shorter distance. This uses less energy in the form of fossil fuels and cuts down on the amount of emissions generated. Shorter transports also require less packaging.
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable and naturally occurring elements you can use in your kitchen. When you cut down a tree to make wooden cabinets, the tree must be re-planted and fully grown until it can be used again. Oftentimes, trees are not even re-planted after being cut down. On the other hand, bamboo continues to grow even after a piece has been cut off. What’s more: bamboo is incredibly strong and versatile. Its durability makes it easy to clean, and its neutral color makes it a wonderful match for many countertop colors.\
Most of us have the best intentions when it comes to recycling--however, recycling bins can be an eye-sore, so we keep them in areas of the home that arent the most accesible. We suggest setting up a pull-out recycler under your sink, or any other cabinet space that is empty. This way, those ugly recycling bins are hidden, and out of your way. There are also products like the Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler that hang on the inside of your cabinet doors. This is a cheaper alternative to the pull-out bin method, but just as effective
Energy Star Appliances
When shopping for major appliances, Look for the Energy Star label. These appliances are far better for the environment, and are much cheaper to run. When you see the Energy Star label on your appliance, it means that the product meets or exceeds strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is estimated that a typical Energy Star refrigerator only costs $50 per year to run. Another bonus is that Energy Star certified refrigerators use less energy than a 60-watt light bulb. Energy Star certified freezers and dishwashers are also worth looking into.