Environmentally-Friendly Kitchen Design


Does your refrigerator make you feel guilty every time you open your electric bill? Is your kitchen faucet dripping? Do you have a '70's light fixture above your eating area? Kitchens have come a long way in the past several years and can be easily updated with the latest in eco-technology.

Energy can be conserved with the latest in appliances. The new refrigerators have climate control systems that regulate air temperature and humidity levels in various drawers so foods last longer which means less food waste. Ovens are made with convection or halogen cooking alternatives so foods cook faster and at lower temperatures, saving energy. Day lighting a kitchen or eating area can do wonders for the spirit. Pendant task lights can give you light exactly where you need and when you need it for food preparation.

Recycling station pull-out drawers will give you the convenience of can/bottle/paper separation that is hidden away. Granite or recycled stone chip composite countertops give a kitchen a durable and natural feel. Replace that tired vinyl flooring with easy to care for marmoleum, ceramic tile or bamboo planks with water-based finish for better air quality. And don't forget to ventilate. Cooking can leave odors and add moisture to the air, which may promote mold growth. Have a good hood fan installed that vents to the outside of the house.

Tips

Purchase energy star appliances.

Replace the seal on your refrigerator door if cold air is leaking out.

Top and bottom freezer models are more efficient than side-by-side.

Use a convection oven, which circulates hot air around food, increasing efficiency by as much as 23% over conventional ovens.

Use smaller cooking appliances when possible ie: crock pot or toaster oven.

Ventilate your hood fan to the outside (not attic).

Use under the counter fluorescents rather than halogens.

Integrate recycled building materials ie: old beams or cabinets.

Cover furniture with natural fabrics ie: cotton, wool and leather.

Other Information and Resources

www.energystar.gov

www.aceee.org

www.themarmoleumstore.com

Book: "The Smart Kitchen" by David Goldbeck


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