3 Tips for an Eco-friendly Kitchen Remodel
The kitchen is the beating heart of any home. We spend so much of our time in this space; whether were are making our morning coffee, cooking meals, or having friends and family around for a cup of tea. It is important, then, that our kitchen is an attractive, practical space that we enjoy spending our time in.
Whether you are remodelling your existing kitchen, or even expanding it with an extension, a new kitchen will transform your home. If you are considering an extension, just make sure to apply for planning permission first – research from Churchill has found that one in eight retrospective applications are actually declined.
As well as making sure your new kitchen works for you, it is also worth making sure that it works for the planet, too. Looking after the environment might not be the first thing on your mind when looking to remodel your kitchen, and you may not be sure if it is even possible. Although an increasing number of us are trying to do our best to live sustainably, it can be difficult to know where to start. We all know about recycling, driving less and reducing our plastic consumption, but when it comes to our shopping habits, and especially to furnishing our homes, a lot of people are in the dark.
It may sound daunting, but achieving an eco-friendly kitchen remodel is easier than you might think. To help you stay green and keep your conscience clean when remodelling your kitchen, we have put together a few top tips.
Tip 1: Pay attention to energy efficiency
In the UK, energy is still largely created by the burning of fossil fuels – with a hugely negative environmental impact. We all know about turning lights off, but the kitchen has lots of appliances, such as fridges and freezers, that are on all the time. So it is really important to make sure your appliances, including ovens, hobs and kettles, do not waste energy. It is always worth checking the energy efficiency rating of appliances, and casting your eye over the total annual energy consumption at the bottom of the label. Also, consider swapping to more eco-friendly appliances – you would be surprised by how much of a difference they can make.
Tip 2: Reduce water consumption
Reducing water use is crucial to saving the planet, but it does not just mean turning off the tap. Remodelling your kitchen is a great opportunity to install water-saving devices. Consider installing a water-saving efficient tap – for example, no-touch taps stop you from inadvertently leaving the water running, and a mixer tap will stop you running two streams of water at once. Checking the water-usage if you are installing a dishwasher, or using a washing-up bowl if you plan to wash up by hand, are also key easy steps.
Tip 3: Use sustainable materials
Kitchen surfaces have to be built from robust materials, and this often means they are made from materials which are polluting to produce (such as acrylics and other plastics) or wood products that have been heavily treated with noxious chemicals. You may also be able to find countertops made from natural materials and recycled materials, such as glass or aluminium. Like other recycling, these conserve resources and their production will not harm the planet. Make sure that any wood you are using is FSC certified, as this means that it is been checked and found not to have a negative environmental impact.
Researching the environmental impacts can be difficult, so a really easy solution is to vet the company you buy your new kitchen fittings from. You can see what steps they are taking to improve sustainability, and make sure you have found an eco-friendly company. Once you have done that, you can entrust your environmental concerns to them, and not have to worry about it anymore yourself.