If one of your priorities during your kitchen remodeling project is to protect the environment, there are a variety of eco-friendly design options to choose from. Having an energy- and water-efficient kitchen will save you money, boost your home’s value—should you ever decide to sell—and reduce your carbon footprint. If you’re looking for ideas for a green kitchen, here are a few to consider.
A Guide to Eco-Friendly Kitchen Remodeling Projects
1. Install Efficient Water Fixtures
Look for low-flow options for your sink faucet. They use an aerator fixed into the mouth of the fixture to limit water flow. Look for an option that uses around 1.5 gallons of water per minute. Additionally, install leak detectors to avoid wasting water. These electronic detectors work by listening for the unique sound frequency that leaking water makes in a plumbing system. If there’s a major leak while you’re out of town—such as one due to a broken dishwasher supply line—these devices will automatically shut off your water supply to prevent flooding.
2. Upgrade the Appliances
Refrigerators run constantly, and other kitchen appliances such as your oven or dishwasher require a lot of energy. When upgrading, look for ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances. These have been tested to meet certain qualifications, such as low energy usage. Additionally, choose a small refrigerator—as long as it can meet your needs—and select a top of the line freezer model, as these tend to be energy-efficient.
3. Use Recycled Materials
Utilize recycled materials for areas like the countertops and flooring tiles. Some popular recycled materials include faux stone, recycled paper and resin, recycled granite, and recycled glass. Also, choose non-porous surfaces, as they won’t stain and won’t harbor bacteria, preventing the spread of illnesses.
4. Use Efficient Lighting
LED lights are more efficient than fluorescent or standard bulbs. Install them all around your kitchen, from the ceiling to under-cabinet task lighting. These bulbs cost more upfront, but they require less energy, provide brighter light, and last longer than other options, saving you money and protecting the environment.
When you’re ready to start a green kitchen remodeling project, contact Valley Design Center in Manhattan’s Midtown East neighborhood. They offer quality, eco-friendly products from top brands, such as Kraftmaid® and Toto®. Visit their website to learn more about their products, or call (212) 832-4200 to discuss your kitchen remodeling project.