A Family-friendly Kitchen is an Eco-friendly Kitchen
Sarah Jessica Smith is a young blogger from Sydney. She is in love with life and all the things that can make her daily routine easier. She loves to write about home improvement, lifestyle, and all the small things that make life such a great adventure.
It’s high time we realised how much we hurt our planet with our arrogant and careless behaviour. Natural resources of the planet Earth are not unlimited and each one of us contributes to this problem in our own way. The right time for change is now, and they are the most effective if we start with ourselves.
In this case, you can start with the most important room in your home – your kitchen. It is the very heart of your home, a place where your family gathers; it’s the place where a lot of warm memories were made, where laughter and good mood leave a long-lasting impression. It’s the most logical place to start a positive change to keep your family and your planet safe.
Maybe the greatest effect on the environment is the materials we use for the kitchen. So, you need to choose them very carefully.
As far as green materials and constructions go, you will initially spend 20-30% more than on usual materials, but you will save money in the long run on electricity bills. Not to mention the positive environmental impact you’ll make. If you want quartz counters, you can opt for Cambria quartz counters, as they recycle the water that’s been used in fabrication. They also give the scrap material to be used as road base and use low-emitting resins and FSC-certified paper pulp. Still, if you want an alternative to quartz, choose recycled glass for your counter tops. They look beautiful and have been made of 85% or more recycled glass, which would otherwise end up in landfill.
The issue with resins in counter tops, cabinetry, shelving and flooring concerns both your family’s health and the environment. The resins in them frequently contain urea formaldehyde which gives off in the environment, possibly causing numerous health issues. Also, almost every kind of glue, paint and coating used for kitchen furnishings is a threat to health. Looking for green kitchen products can be tricky – so, the surest way you’re really helping the environment and keeping your family safe is to look for Green guard certification on the products.
As far as recycled materials go, you can opt for bamboo flooring in the kitchen. It is both a green decision and a cheap option, but the wooden look will also look amazing.
Kitchen appliances you buy and use every day can make a big difference to your wallet and the environment. When buying new appliances, make sure they have the Energy Star seal. It indicates that you will spend 5 to 10 % less energy and water than you would with a regular kitchen appliance.
When it comes to cooking, get a convection oven which uses a fan to quickly send the heat to the food. It will cook the food 25% faster than the usual oven. Induction cook tops generate heat only when there is a pot on the surface, making cooking efficient and cheaper.
Regarding refrigerators, newer models with top freezers spend 10-25% less energy than the ones that come in side-by-side configuration because less cold escapes the refrigerator that way.
There are also dishwashers which have “quick-wash” cycles, saving water, energy and also time.
Planning the design
Any type of home renovation requires careful planning, and kitchen renovations are no different. People in Australia, for example, like to hire professionals when it comes to home renovations. So, if you want to take a piece of advice, it’s always good to know that you can call professionals and ask for full and professional renovation services in Sydney.
A good kitchen design considers the use of counter top appliances on a daily basis and their storage when you don’t need them. Smart storage will allow you to use less space, meaning you will use fewer materials and spend less money. Tall appliances that are frequently used need to fit under the cabinets, while there should also be a place or a pantry shelf for rarely used appliances.
Nobody will notice this part of the renovation, but insulation is highly beneficial for your home, as well as the environment. Comfortable warmth inside your kitchen is important, but it also helps you save energy and save money. In case you have opened walls in order to widen the kitchen space, that is a great opportunity to replace old windows and put in wall insulation. The air gaps will be sealed, while you and your family will feel warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Your family’s safety should not be omitted, especially if you have small children. Buy appliances with child lockout settings and get a stove guard that prevents children reaching the burners. Induction cook tops will get cold the moment you remove the pot from it.
Regarding the flooring, avoid honed natural stone and smooth tiles, as they do get slippery when you spill liquids on them. Vinyl or cork are safer, and also very resilient. Lastly, having corners rounded on counter tops is the safest choice.
The great thing about an Eco-friendly kitchen is that it is also family-friendly. It becomes a safer place for your family, and also more beautiful. Not to mention that knowing you are contributing to helping the environment helps you feel happy that you are doing your bit!
Deborah Hunter Kells
I have a wide range of interests and the top of my list is people and relationships. I appreciate our big wide world and nature which tries so hard to deal with what we do to it. I enjoy learning and am a “forever student”. I would love to hear about you and what you have experienced – that one or both of us may learn.