If you are remodeling your kitchen and want to do everything as sustainably and green as possible, then choosing eco-friendly appliances and low-flow faucets is a good starting point. But these are far form the only features that promote sustainability in the kitchen. Here are a few lesser-known features to consider your your sustainable kitchen remodel.
Tile floors may be all the rage these days, but while tile is pretty and easy to clean, it is not always the most sustainable choice. A lot of fuel is used mining, shaping, and transporting the heavy tile. And tile made from composite and artificial materials often generates a significant amount of pollution during manufacturing. Bamboo flooring is a much more sustainable choice. It's so lightweight that transporting it does not require a lot of fuel. It can be easily shaped into floor boards, and since bamboo grows so quickly, it is a completely renewable resource.
Bamboo flooring looks elegant in a kitchen. Like hardwood, you can stain it most any color, and it's also resistant to bacterial growth, which is so important if you cook with meat and other potentially contaminated ingredients.
A Vent Window
Many kitchens feature huge vent hoods or exhaust fans that expel the warm or smoky air during cooking. While these come in handy, they use a lot of energy and are not always necessary when you're just boiling a pot of pasta water or baking some cookies. Placing a window near your cooktop and oven will allow you to use your ventilation hood a lot less often. Unless it gets overly smoky or steamy inside, you can just open the window for some energy-free ventilation.
VOC-Free Paints and Sealers
There are so many paints, sealers, adhesives, and other chemical products involved with remodeling your kitchen. The standard versions of these products often give off a lot of VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, which are terrible for the environment. Ask your contractor to use no-VOC and low-VOC versions of these products whenever possible, and your kitchen will be a much more earth-friendly creation.
Salvaged Cabinet Materials
Instead of buying cabinets made from the most popular wood or laminate material, opt for ones made from repurposed or reclaimed lumber. Even if only the backs of the cabinets, which you rarely see, are made from repurposed lumber, you'll be saving some trees from being cut down and also reducing the amount of used materials sent to the landfills. Contact a company, like Luxcucina, for more help.