Green Home Remodeling for Your Kitchen
When it comes to being greener, one of the biggest contributions a person can make is in the home; there are countless improvements that can make your house more eco-friendly and they are not always necessarily more expensive or complicated than conventional fixes.
If you are in the process of a kitchen remodel and are interested in making the space a bit more earth-friendly, there are numerous ways to about this ranging from using more energy-efficient appliances to choosing more eco-friendly building materials for cabinets, floors and the like.
Energy Star Appliances
Our appliances account for a huge chunk of household energy use and choosing ones that run more efficiently are not only good for the planet , it is good for your wallet too. The refrigerator is one of the biggest energy drains in your house and choosing one with the Energy Star designation is a good step towards greener living.
These appliances have been rated by the government and found to reduce greenhouse gases and use energy more efficiently. They are deemed to work just as well as conventional appliances and if they happen to have a higher price tag, they are expected to make up the costs with additional energy savings.
Flooring and Cabinets
When it comes to eco-friendly flooring and cabinets, the options are vast. If you have your heart set on standard hard wood, look for products that were manufactured from trees found in forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This certification indicates that the forest management practices support sustainability and minimize damage to the environment. Salvaged wood may be another good option—it is in good condition, thoroughly cleaned and can give your floor some ‘’character.’’
If you want the durability of wood but are interested in choosing a highly sustainable material, bamboo may be a good choice. This grass grows abundantly and quickly, making it an easily renewable source of building material. It is highly resistant to mold, mildew and water, and it easy to clean. You might also consider rubber, cork and tiles made from 100 percent recycled materials for your floor.
Like flooring, you have a lot of options for green countertops. Recycled glass is a popular option that can stand on its own or be mixed with other materials such as ash, cement. Bamboo is not just for flooring and you can find countertops made with this grass as well.
Other options include products made from agricultural wastes such as sunflower seed hulls, mountain stone and coconut palms.
Considerations for Paint, Sealants and Adhesives
Another environmental issue that surrounds home improvements is the use of adhesives and other chemicals in the manufacturing process of these products. You want to look for products made with water-based adhesives that are free of or contain low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are substances that are harmful for the environment and your health.
When it comes to the pain you choose, you can find a large selection of paints that have reduced levels of VOCs or are completely free of them—even major paint brands now are getting into the green trend so you should be able to easily find this type of paint in any home improvement store.