Once a buzzword, or more accurately buzz phrase, green kitchen design has come a long way. Only a few years ago, going green meant using sustainable materials here and there. If you’re remodeling your kitchen and want a truly green design, you’ll want to incorporate a careful holistic design that enables a healthy family lifestyle that saves energy as well as the planet. Nontoxic materials and finishes are highly important. Formaldehyde-free, low VOC materials are now common and are what many consumers are demanding, especially in the kitchen where the surfaces of counter tops and cabinets really shouldn’t off-gas or leach. Here are some ideas to help you make your kitchen green.
Take Your Time Planning and Ask a Lot of Questions
To create a green kitchen, thoughtful and enduring design and products must take precedence over trendy features. Kitchens need to function and wear well and not go out of fashion. Remodeling every few years to match design trends is not sustainable. Ask a lot of questions and make sure that your designer understands that you want materials, finishes, a color palate and other elements that honors the architecture of your home while also promoting a healthy, green space while avoiding fads that will not hold up.
Consider Indoor Air
Here’s something that often gets overlooked. Resins in composite products for cabinetry, counter tops, moldings, furniture, shelving, flooring and textiles often contain added urea formaldehyde, which as it off gasses, is a dangerous human health concern. Other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are in many glues, sealants, paint and coatings. Look for products with Greenguard certification if you want products that won’t detract from indoor air quality. Make sure that all products are no-VOC, but if none are available, make sure to use low-VOC products.
Don’t forget proper ventilation. The Environmental Protection Agency indicates that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. The design of your kitchen should include sources for energy-efficient natural ventilation that will replace indoor air with fresh air from the outside.
Although it can be hard to spend money on things no one notices, such as new windows and insulation, the rewards here are multiple. If you’re opening walls to renovate, insulate tightly while you have the walls open. Replace old windows and seal all air gaps.
Brighten With LEDs
These LED bulbs have come a long way in the last few years thanks to much more pleasant light. Recessed lighting with LED’s is particularly popular. Make sure you have enough lighting for task areas.
Go With Energy Star
When choosing big-ticket items, don’t underestimate the power of Energy Star appliances. You’ll save considerable money in your monthly energy costs of you replace all of your current appliances with Energy Star items. Learn more at energystar.gov.
Rosseland Remodeling will work with you to fulfill your kitchen remodeling needs. Our designers are dedicated to helping you get the kitchen of your dreams. Call Chris at 847-791-5886 for a complimentary consultation.