Not only are kitchens in custom built homes as comfortable and inviting as they are beautiful, but they are often crafted to be eco-friendly – good for your health, and good for the planet, too.
Classic Living Homes is a LEED certified builder. We’ve been helping clients design green kitchens for decades. Take a look below at 8 easy ways to create an eco-friendly kitchen.
Whether you’re building a custom house for your family or ready to make the kitchen in the home you’re living in now better for the planet, these ideas can help make it happen.
1. Choose sustainable materials
There are a variety of eco-friendly materials available that look great and stand the test of time, too. In fact, it’s their durability that makes these materials good for the plant. Solid timber, for example, is renewable source. Cabinets made from solid timber feature zero chemicals, can be painted (and repainted), and they add richness and warmth to your kitchen as well.
Bamboo is another excellent choice for cabinets and flooring, too. Made from mature stalks from bamboo plants, it is versatile, easy to clean and incredibly durable, making it a great material for a high traffic room like the kitchen.
2. Opt for VOC-free paint
Walking into a freshly painted room can be exciting. After all. you’re walking into a room with so many decorating possibilities. But the smell of fresh pain isn’t such a good thing. Often, that smell is from volatile organic compounds.
VOCs are harmful to the plant, and to your health, too. Instead, choose paint that is VOC-free. Behr, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams are three high quality paint companies that offer VOC-free or low VOC paints.
Of course, If you’re building a custom-built home, you won’t have to worry about VOCs because today’s builders choose the healthiest materials possible.
3. Use low flow faucets
Did you know that low, or slow flow faucets cut back your water usage by 30-50%. That means that you’ll save on your water bill as well as help protect the planet. You could also a choose touch-free faucet that will help conserve water thanks to its automatic shut off.
4. Always go with energy efficient appliances
First check the energy rating on any appliance you might be adding to your new kitchen. You’ll want to select those with the energy star label, as these are third-party certified and meet the strict energy-efficiency requirements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Don’t forget that your smaller appliances, including your coffeemaker and toaster, for example, should also have the energy star label.
5. Consider quartz or Corian countertops
Granite countertops are beautiful, but if you’re looking for something more sustainable, choose quartz or Corian. Neither are mined the way that granite is, so they are better for the planet. The also require no toxic sealants to install and since they are extremely durable, they won’t end up in the landfill.
5. Use LED Lights
LED lighting might just be one of the easiest ways to make your kitchen eco-friendlier. Not only are LED lights 90% more efficient than fluorescent or incandescent lights, but they last much longer, so you can cut down on waste.
You could also add dimmer switches to your lights, so when you prefer less brightness, you can lower the lighting. Dimmers can help create ambiance while also helping you reduce your carbon footprint.
6. Choose natural cleaners
The funny thing about cleaners is that, while they’re designed to rid your home of toxins to create a safer and healthier environment, many of them can actually do harm to your home’s air quality. In fact, many contain VOCs and can wreak havoc on everything from your respiratory to your endocrine system.
On the other hand, green cleaning products are readily available at your local supermarket. Use these instead.
7. Don’t be afraid to reuse
Moving to a new home is the perfect opportunity for new beginnings, but before you choose brand new features like cabinetry handles, curtains and dishware, take inventory of what you have already that can be reused or repurposed. You’ll be breathing new life to what you already have, while keeping items out of the landfill.
8. Think timeless
One of the bests ways to create an eco-friendly kitchen is to go with a timeless design. A kitchen that is designed with functionality at top of mind, for example, won’t require a remodel with new materials. You also won’t need to order additional products or materials, so you’ll be helping cut back on fuel used for shipping and packaging.
As a LEED certified builder, Classic Living Homes has a long-standing commitment to design green homes across Cincinnati. We love helping our clients choose sustainable products that promote green living. Check out our website or give us a call to learn more.