Every person who cooks in the kitchen will recognise the need for good kitchen design. It is very likely the dream of every housewife to have a modern kitchen with lots of bench space and storage. But the design for your kitchen can also be environmentally friendly and when it is, it will save considerably on the costs of running the home.
Most kitchens in older homes were not designed to be ‘green’ or eco friendly, but with a few upgrades you can have a kitchen that looks attractive and saves on costs as well. How? Here are a few design tips to ensure your kitchen is environmentally friendly, whether you are planning a new one or upgrading your older kitchen.
- Put in a larger window. This will let in more natural light so you don’t need to switch the light on in the middle of the day to see what you are doing.
- A larger window can also be opened to cool off and air a hot kitchen, saving on the costs of running the air conditioning or the extractor fan in the range hood.
- New large appliances are usually much more energy efficient than older ones.
- Choose only the size appliance that you need for your lifestyle, or may need in the next decade. For instance, if you plan on having children in the next few years, a larger refrigerator and dishwasher will be extremely worthwhile.
- But if the children are all about to leave home and you need a new fridge, you might not need a large one. Much depends on your lifestyle.
- Lighting is another great way to save the environment. Always choose environmentally friendly lighting. It lasts longer and costs less to run.
- If your kitchen needs a coat of paint, be sure you get low or no VOC paint that has no toxic fumes to inhale. The same goes for other finishes.
- Other materials in the kitchen should also be free of toxic additives. Even natural materials such as timber can be ruined – ecologically speaking – when certain types of adhesives or formaldehyde binders are used to make them. This is likely with timber veneer that has a thin sliver of timber on the top, glued to a base of something cheaper that is often also made with a toxic glue.
- If you purchase new cupboards for the kitchen, deal with a company that makes sure their products are eco-friendly.
- If possible, find salvaged wood that can be used to make cupboards and architraves for the kitchen.
By implementing even some of these ideas, you’ll save on costs, help to keep your family healthier and make your kitchen a friendlier place to be.