4 Eco-friendly Ideas for Your Kitchen
By Ryan Horvath
Monday was the 49th Earth Day. Earth Day raises awareness of environmental concerns and issues. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, it has grown to a worldwide event in more than 193 countries. To help celebrate Earth Day, I’m sharing some ideas for eco-friendly kitchens.
Design Your Eco-friendly Kitchen
CAPTAIN PLANET’S CABINETS
If you’re in the market for new cabinets, be sure that they’re CARB2 compliant. CARB2 is a tough production standard for formaldehyde emissions. It focuses on raw composite wood panels and finished products. Being CARB2 compliant means that your cabinets are safe against environmental health issues. In fact, our entire cabinet line is CARB2 compliant.
Look for cabinets that use non-toxic or low VOC paints or finishes. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. These compounds are organic chemicals with a high vapor pressure at room temperature. The lower the VOC, the better.
Eco-friendly kitchens use natural material for countertops. I’m a fan of two trends: quartz and bamboo butcher block countertops. Quartz is as strong as granite but doesn’t chip or crack like granite. Unlike granite, you won’t need to seal quartz. Made with 95%+ natural quartz with an epoxy resin binder, quartz is scratch resistant. It’s also resistant against heat and moisture.
One of the most popular trends is butcher block countertops. These countertops use wood or reclaimed wood. For me, I love the look of a bamboo butcher block. These countertops are eco-friendly since bamboo is a renewable resource. Bamboo is non-toxic, recyclable, and leaves a low carbon footprint. But they do need some TLC like a regular butcher block countertop.
LOW CARBON FOOTPRINT FLOORING
When looking at flooring ideas, consider using cork. I know what you’re thinking. Cork as in corkboards? Cork as in wine corks? Actually, yeah, but hear me out. Cork is the same price as wood but is more sustainable. A cork tree grows in 9 years while other trees take as long as 30 or more years. Cork is also sound-absorbing and hypoallergenic. It’s also resistant to mold and mildew. I’ve included a few examples from Lowe’s.
Click on the image to enlarge.
SHOOTING FOR THE STAR
Energy Star appliances have been around since 1992. These appliances meet strict energy-efficiency guidelines. The Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency developed the guidelines. An Energy Star appliance helps save consumers money on electric bills. They also reduce greenhouse gases. Here’s a cool fact:
“In 2017 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans save approximately 370 billion kWh of electricity and avoid $30 billion in energy costs, with associated emission reductions of 290 million metric tons of greenhouse gases…” – Energy Star
Conduct a seal test to see if you need a new appliance. Shut the appliance door on a dollar bill or piece of paper. Try to pull the dollar bill/piece of paper out. If it slides out, it’s time for a new appliance. You can also save water by using water-efficient fixtures and appliances.
Eco-friendly kitchens are becoming more popular as consumers are becoming more environmentally aware. Some of these ideas might not work for your personal tastes. For the ones that do, run with it. Incorporate them into your kitchen, your bath, and beyond.
Do you have an eco-friendly idea you want to share? Leave a message in the comments!
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Energy Star – energystar.gov
Lowe’s – lowes.com