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Constructing A Green Kitchen

By: Terry Philips
If you're constructing a new kitchen or remodeling an old one, you may wonder what you can do to make you kitchen environmentally green. Taking into consideration what your new appliances are made from (health), how long they will last (sustainability), and how much energy they will use (efficiency) are three important considerations. Let's take a closer look at how these three categories will affect your selections in each major area of your new kitchen:

Appliances

Thanks to them being used everyday, you kitchen appliances get a lot of attention when people talk about going green and this is because you use them for storage, cleaning and cooking all the time. Here, energy efficiency is the key. Look for new appliances with the Energy Star logo on them, which can help you reduce energy usage in your new kitchen by 10-15%. Choose dishwashers that minimize hot water usage, ovens that preheat rapidly, and refrigerators with top-mounted freezers, rather than side-by-side or bottom-mounted ones. Remember that microwaves use less energy than stoves and ovens. Once your new appliances are installed, keep your cooking appliances performing up to par with regular Wolf repair and your refrigeratorfreezer set cold with routine Sub Zero service .

Cabinets

The finishes and construction materials used in cabinetry is what you should be thinking about. Bamboo provides a nice alternative to traditional wood cabinetry, as new crops of the grass can grow and mature within seven years. If you're set on hardwood, choose one that's certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). As for the finishes, choose formaldehyde-free materials like water-based glues and adhesives to reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your kitchen. To the environment these VOCs are harmful, and they contaminate your air because of their carcinogen toxins.

Floors and Countertops

Green floors are made from renewable materials like bamboo, cork, and linoleum. Be sure you are purchasing a pure form of the material, rather than an imitation of it, to ensure it is environmentally friendly. For countertops, recycled glass and concrete make good green choices. If you prefer hardwood floors and countertops, use reclaimed wood or a wood certified by the FSC.

Lighting

Maximize natural light in your new kitchen with big window areas or skylights. Your energy can be generated by using solar window shutters to aid your switch to green. When it comes to artificial lighting, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) are much more efficient than incandescent lights. Generating less heat and using less energy these are far better for you and the environment that the traditional offerings. While generally more expensive, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) use even less energy and last even longer than CFLs, so consider installing a LED lighting system in your new kitchen if it's within your budget.

Of course, even after your new kitchen has been built, you must continue to make a conscious effort to run a green household by recycling, using environmentally-friendly cleaning products, and reducing your energy and water consumption. The good news is that with the new green kitchen you've constructed, you'll be starting from a much better position than ever before.

Tags : Constructing ,Green ,Kitchen ,kitchen ,energy ,green ,appliances
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Article Number : 213927
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