These days, we all know what it means to be green. We have also become familiar with the three R’s…reduce, reuse, and recycle. Most of the opportunity to implement the three R’s is in our kitchen. However, the kitchen is usually the least green room in our home. Not only do our appliances use a considerable amount of energy, but the materials used in building kitchens can be very expensive and wasteful. We might not be able to make our kitchen completely green. However, there are several things we can do to make it greener than it is, and creating a green kitchen is not only better for our planet, it’s better for our wallets.
- Always try to buy Energy Star rated products. These products have all been approved by the government for optimal energy efficiency.
- Downsize to smaller appliances. These will require less energy and maybe even force you to clear out the unnecessary clutter.
- Look into all of the newest energy efficient products coming to the market everyday. For example, induction cook-tops that get hotter faster and use less energy.
- Remember to give your old appliances to charity or sell them for some extra cash.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. The fluorescent bulbs use less energy, they last longer, and are less expensive.
- Try to utilize natural lighting during the day by installing skylights or larger windows.
- Granite and marble can be very expensive. There are alternative natural products that can look just as beautiful. Look into stainless steel or recycled glass. Nowadays, even concrete can be made to look amazing as a countertop.
- There are more eco-friendly choices than wood and particle board, such as strawboard and wheatboard. These materials are natural plant byproducts.
- There are alternatives to hardwood floors, which are very expensive and hard on the environment. These alternatives are recycled glass tiles and cork floors. A renewable resource to consider is bamboo flooring, which is also much cheaper than hardwoods.
- Use recycle bins.
- Avoid using paper products to cut down on waste.
- Use organic cleaning products.
- Buy thermal cookware. It saves energy because it heats up faster and maintains its temperature.
- Don’t forget to use non-toxic glues, finishes, and paints when remodeling.
Remember, you don’t have to transform your entire kitchen all at once. Just doing one or two things at a time is a good start to saving your money and our planet.