Published on July 14th, 2014 | by Chris Keenan1
The Heart of the Home: Green Home Improvement Ideas for the Kitchen
Does your kitchen need updating? Now is the perfect time to undergo an eco-friendly remodeling project. Surprisingly, going green will not add a lot to your budget, and in many cases, doing so will even save you money over the long term. The following ideas are a great way to embrace your eco-friendly ideals while still creating the kitchen of your dreams.
Turn Old Items into New Treasures
Several items in the kitchen may not need to be replaced. Look closely at your cabinets, sinks, faucets, and even appliances. Make a decision about whether to reuse these items based on their age and condition. For example, any appliance that is more than ten years old should be replaced with an Energy Star model. The difference in the amount of energy the two appliances consume is amazing. Purchasing a new model refrigerator, for instance, instead of using one that is twenty years old, will save your family about $120 per year. However, be smart about what you buy new and what you choose to reuse. If you know anyone that is also going through a kitchen remodel, you may be able to turn their trash into your treasures.
Focus on Flooring
When it comes to eco-friendly flooring options, both cork and linoleum are solid, sustainable choices. They hold up well over time, and they also look nice in the kitchen area. The benefits of using linoleum include the fact that it is not affected by moisture, it is durable, and there are many options when it comes to design. There are also no harmful vapors associated with this flooring. However, linoleum can stain, so it is a good idea to add a protective coating.
Cork comes from tree bark, which grows back after it is used. Like linoleum, cork is not affected by moisture. Because cork has a textured surface, it is easy to walk on and it is not slippery. A sealant should be applied to cork flooring every four years to ensure it stays in the best shape possible.
Replace the Lighting
How many years has it been since your kitchen was updated? If the answer is “quite a while,” it is a good idea to replace your lighting with energy efficient options. Technology has come a long way in the past decade, and choosing eco-friendly products will save you money and improve the atmosphere in your kitchen space.
Support Local Vendors
Give back to the community by purchasing supplies from manufacturers in your area. Not only are you helping out your town or city by doing so, you are also helping the environment at the same time. Buying local goods means less fossil fuel is wasted, because the items do not have to travel a long distance to reach you.
Remodeling your kitchen can add a lot of value to your home. If you are interested in taking on a home improvement project, consider turning the process “green” using the tips above. The end result will be well worth any extra effort involved.
Image Credit: Some rights reserved by Nancy Hugo, CKD