Make Your Kitchen a “Green” Kitchen
By Ryan Horvath
Earth Day, April 22, is a global event that helps bring awareness to the need to protect the Earth’s environment. One billion people in over 192 countries take part in the day’s activities. Sharing ways to reduce soil, air, and water pollution are highlights of the day. To celebrate Earth Day 2018 at Choice Cabinet, we are highlighting six ways to make your environmentally safe kitchen…a “green” kitchen.
Utilizing renewable resources is not a new concept. Solar and wind powered technologies in business have been around for many years. Bringing these renewable resources into the home continues to gain popularity. To encourage homeowners to be more environmentally conscious, our government offers rebates and tax breaks to those who purchase energy efficient items for the home. In addition, if you are completing a home improvement project, there are natural products that are environmentally friendly, inexpensive, and unique. Bamboo, a fast growing, eco-friendly plant, is an option for laminate flooring, cabinetry, furniture and backsplashes. Cork is another natural product that is being used for floor and wall tile as well as insulation. By using renewable resources, we can help to reduce our carbon footprint in regards to home building and home improvement.
Planet Friendly Cleaners
Many dishwashing liquids, detergents, and home cleaning products are petro-chemically based. They utilize oils and chemicals that are harmful to the environment; however, there are planet-friendly options available. Look for products that are non-toxic, biodegradable, or plant-based. If you are a DYIer, you can even make your own natural cleaner. There are all kinds of recipes on the Internet.
Shine Bright with Energy Star
The government-sponsored Energy Star label was established to help consumers identify products that help reduce greenhouse gases. Energy Star appliances use 10 to 50% less energy and water. Whether you prefer gas or electric stoves, there are Energy Star options. If you prefer a gas stove, choose one with a lower BTU output. For an electric stove, choose one with induction elements instead of the metal coils. Making a conscious choice to use Energy Star appliances in your home will go a long way to helping reduce the effect of greenhouse gases on the environment.
Reusing and Repurposing
Thrift stores and antique shops are great places to find items that can be reused and repurposed. You can also check out your local salvage yards. These places are filled with items such as used stone countertops, doors, hardware, plumbing, cabinetry, and appliances. Taking a unique item like an old workbench and repurposing it for your kitchen island is just one example of how you can be creative and help the environment. Do a simple search for “repurposed kitchen” on Pinterest for great ideas.
Improve Your Air Quality
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Many of the products we use, from cleaners to paints, contain volatile organic compounds or VOC’s. Products with a high VOC rating can leak toxic gases when they are at room temperature. One way to protect yourself is to purchase items with a GREENGUARD certification. A GREENGUARD certification means that the product has a low VOC and helps reduce indoor air pollution levels.
Design an Ageless Kitchen
When designing your “green” kitchen, keep in mind possible future needs so that your design grows with you. To renovate every few years only adds to environmental waste. Planning for future needs now helps you do your part in helping to protect our environment.
Click on the links below for additional information and ideas for an environmentally safe kitchen.
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