If you are bored by the current state of your kitchen and about to remodel, make sure you move forward with eco-friendly choices in mind. Sure, going green might seem somewhat expensive now, but it’s worth it in the long-run. Making the right choices now is good for the planet, which is ultimately good for you. There are five main considerations to keep in mind as you move forward with a renovation:
- Paint - The paint you choose for your kitchen should be durable to accommodate different temperature changes, but pick a paint that’s low-VOC. Some manufacturers make products which contain 50 grams of VOC per liter which is well under the cap set by the EPA, so those products will be perfect for an area like a kitchen.
- Lighting - Most kitchens get plenty of light during the day thanks to their big windows. If you have a kitchen like that, try putting some light-colored cabinets to maximize the effect. This way, you’ll avoid turning the lights on during the day, and you’ll save energy and money by doing that. If your budget allows, replace all old incandescent bulbs with LED lighting. These have numerous benefits including lower electricity bills and lower emission of greenhouse gasses.
- Flooring - Putting eco-friendly flooring in your kitchen is probably the most important step in making your home “green” if your considering a larger-scale renovation. Flooring options such as cork, bamboo, or reclaimed hardwood have made it easier to be stylish and environmentally-responsible. But don't make this change unless you were going to rethink your floors to begin with. The most "green" material is the one you already have installed.
- Appliances - Buy appliances with high energy-efficiency ratings. In a normal use situation, your automatic dishwasher is likely to be more efficient than washing dishes by hand. With your stove, make sure it's working properly and always have a professional service it.
- Cleaning Products - A growing number of manufacturers offer plant-based and non-toxic products for cleaning, but why not go one step further and make them yourself? Combining basic products and creating inexpensive and chemical-free alternatives is a breeze. Try making your own cleaning solution with vinegar, water, and a few drops of dish soap to start!
It's as simple as that! You can do more, or less, to bring your space up to standards. Just do what you can! Every little bit helps.