Green Ways To Decorate And Design Your KitchenGreen Ways To Decorate And Design Your Kitchen

After decades of neglect, the environment is starting to receive the attention it deserves, and with good reason. As a result, some homeowners are choosing to implement green designs into their kitchens, especially since the kitchen can use a lot of energy through appliances that constantly run and water that regularly drips.

Here are several tips for each category in your kitchen so that you can choose a green decorating scheme based on your needs and budget.

Green Appliances and Water Saving Technology

Energy Star appliances are getting a lot of attention, and with today's range of options and price ranges, upgrading your older appliances for more energy efficient options is viable. Energy Star appliances use anywhere from 10 to 50 percent less energy.

Don't overlook your kitchen faucet as a potential source of water-conservation. Especially if your budget doesn't include new appliances, consider choosing a kitchen faucet with an aerator. You'll have the same water pressure with less volume. A recirculation pump will keep your hot water in your tap, meaning no running the water for up to a minute waiting for hot water.

Big-Ticket Items Going Green

Cabinets and countertops are seminal components that affect the look of your kitchen. If you are considering the possibility of refacing your current cabinets, one popular option is choosing a hardwood that wasn't finished with urea-formaldehyde, which emits harmful gasses. You can also choose green materials such as wheatboard that is finished with nontoxic products.

Recycled quartz countertops are the most popular green option, and are engineered by DuPont, CaesarStone, Silestone, Zodiaq and IceStone. These recycled quartz countertops are antimicrobial, mold and heat resistant. They offer a wide range of color options with good color depth and a hint of sparkle that will complement any kitchen.

Green Underfoot

If you are considering updating your kitchen flooring, before you go the laminate flooring route, do some research into green options such as cork flooring, linoleum and bamboo or reclaimed hardwood. Bamboo is popular because it's easily renewable and has been improved to be more durable as well as to stand up better to moisture. Cork is environmentally friendly and you'll have a many options for color, just make sure you like the texture and look before committing.

Because linoleum is made from linseed oil, rosin and wood flour, it's durable and environmentally friendly to produce. If you are set on tile, consider purchasing recycled tile that was well preserved, perhaps a terra cotta for a warm, rustic look.

Don't Throw That Away!

Whether you are updating your entire kitchen or just several items, don't overlook how you dispose of the items you're replacing. After all, throwing your current appliances into the landfill won't justify buying Energy Star appliances. Instead, either sell or donate your used appliances (if in working condition). This way, someone else will reuse them and this will prevent them from clogging a landfill. The same goes for replacing cabinets and even countertops. If you're taking down your cabinets, take pictures first and try and sell the lot or donate to your local home improvement charity that will reuse your materials, such as Habitat for Humanity. This way, you'll have done your part for the environment.
by Bob Fischer
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Bob Fischer writes in depth articles about contemporary kitchen designs and also covers a multitude of kitchen design ideas.
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