The driving motivation for renovating the kitchen varies but usually it is about modernising, creating more space, aesthetics or functionality. Becoming more environmentally friendly isn’t always a number one priority but it’s possible to go green and still meet the criteria of your original motivation.
Here are a few ways your renovation could improve your kitchen’s green credentials.
Kitchens guzzle energy so replacing inefficient old appliances with energy saving ones will make a huge difference to your carbon footprint as well as your bills.
Opt for a fridge-freezer over separate units where possible as they are much more energy-efficient. Choose a convection oven as well; this type of oven uses a fan to drive heat around your oven more efficiently than a traditional oven thus cooking more quickly and saving money in the process.
When choosing a new appliance check the energy rating label to get the best performing appliances for your money.
Natural light is always best and your renovation could be the perfect chance to broaden your windows. When it comes to the actual lights themselves look into fluorescents which use up to 80% less energy than normal bulbs and last as much as 10 times as long.
LEDs are really coming down in price as well and are perfect for recessed lights if you want to move away from the traditional ceiling mounted lights that don’t always brighten the whole room. You can run them along units and under benchtops for a dramatic effect that really makes your kitchen pop. Best of all, LEDs can also last up to 20 years!
Composite stone benchtops like Caesarstone are perfect for many reasons. You can order them with a higher level of recycled material. They never need sealing and are virtually impervious to the average use a kitchen so won’t need replacing for decades. Caesarstone is a beautiful, versatile and cost effective material as well so you can get the look you wanted whilst being environmentally friendly.
Bamboo is another benchtop material with great green credentials. It’s a fast-growing, sustainable material although it will require maintenance so factor that into your choice.
Floors & Splashbacks
You can also use bamboo for splashbacks and flooring.
Another great, eco-friendly material for floors is cork. Yes, cork! Aside from being mould resistant and hypoallergenic it also absorbs sound and retains warmth. No more earth-shattering clangs when you drop something on the floor! Cork is as warm as carpet, (saving money and energy on underfloor heating), hygienic as tiles and can be made waterproof. It’s a low carbon material and comes in a range of designs.
Salvaged, recycled and antique wood/cabinets are incredibly eco-friendly. What can actually be incorporated in your kitchen depends on your design, budget and preferences. Speak with your builder and kitchen designer to ask what recycled materials can be used in your renovation.
We live on the driest inhabited continent on the planet and few places understand how precious fresh water resources are than we do in Australia. One way we can help conserve water is to recycle water we’ve already used in our homes through a greywater system.
What is greywater? It’s wastewater from various sources including your bath, sinks, shower and laundry — it does not include water from toilets.
A greywater system allows you to reuse that water — approximately 1,500 litres in the average Australian household of greywater each week —and best of all you may be eligible for a rebate.
Having a green kitchen isn’t just about what materials you use or appliances you buy but how you use it. Recycling is something we should all be doing but often it can be tough to keep everything separate and where do you keep all the boxes and bags of recyclables? Sliding composters and recycling stations can help to keep everything neatly organised and encourage you to recycle more.
You don’t have to compromise on quality, aesthetics, function or modernity by being eco-friendly. Your kitchen can have it all.
Call Kitchen Design Victoria today on Free Call 1800 00 98 98 and take advantage of decades of industry experience. We’re always happy to advise on how you can get the result you want from your kitchen renovation, so get in touch with one of our kitchen design consultants for a personalised design appointment.