An increasing number of people are looking towards eco-friendly trends when it comes to remodeling.
An eco-friendly remodel is good for the planet and can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Because of the popularity of eco-friendly design, there are an increasing number of options when it comes to remodeling with this focus, including ways to up the energy efficiency, water efficiency, and overall sustainability of your kitchen.
If you're looking to remodel your kitchen in an eco-friendly manner, here is an essential checklist for getting started.
1) Choose Eco-Friendly Materials
Oftentimes a kitchen remodel will be primarily cosmetic, especially if all your appliances are still in good condition. This means that an eco-friendly remodel will often concentrate on choosing eco-friendly materials.
There are plenty of eco-friendly options for countertops, cabinets, sinks, and other visual elements of your new kitchen, and they don't mean sacrificing style for sustainability. Switching from wood to bamboo or choosing a countertop made from recycled plastic can go a long way.
Just remember to do your own research before believing the marketing hype - many unscrupulous brands will exaggerate how eco-friendly their products are in hopes of tricking people hoping to help the environment.
2) Focus on Your Cabinets
One of the biggest culprits for unsustainable design is your cabinets. Not only are most cabinets made from artificially made wood, such as plywood or particle board, that requires a lot of energy and pollution to make, these types of pressed woods are often assembled with glues that contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde.
There is a risk that over time these glues will pollute the air, resulting in carcinogens in your home. This makes your cabinets a great place to focus on in an eco-friendly remodel. Choosing cabinets made from solid wood or bamboo is a safer and more eco-friendly option.
3) Choose Water-Efficient Fixtures
You don't have to perform dramatic and expensive plumbing remodels to have a more water-efficient kitchen. Choosing low-flow faucets can dramatically cut down both your water usage and your water bill.
Faucets with the Environment Protection Agency's WaterSense label are at least 30% more efficient than the average faucet without sacrificing water pressure or performance.
This means that, for the average family of four, approximately 700 gallons of water per year will be saved by swapping all faucets to these more eco-friendly options.
4) See the Light
Lighting is another energy sink that any eco-friendly remodel should consider replacing. While making changes that emphasize the potential for natural lighting in your kitchen is obviously the ideal, this isn't an option for every kitchen.
There are a few general rules when it comes to eco-friendly lighting. First, try to cut down on the number of individual fixtures. This means opting for bar lighting over smaller inlaid lighting if at all possible. Second, if you haven't already, you should strongly consider switching over to LED lighting instead of incandescent lighting.
LEDs use less energy and last 20 times longer, so there is less waste and less energy used. You won't have to worry about replacing bulbs for decades, and you'll save on your electricity bill as well.
5) Consider the Switch to Energy-Efficient Appliances
If you're doing a remodel that includes any appliances, you should consider switching to more energy-efficient models. Your kitchen appliances, including your stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher, generally account for around 10% of your home's overall energy use.
Switching to more energy-efficient appliances, therefore, will give you massive savings in the long run, even if they are a more expensive investment initially. The Energy Star label is the Environmental Protection Agency's seal of approval, so start there and then start looking for appliances that fit your needs.
Looking for help with the perfect kitchen or bathroom remodel? Contact us at Edesia Kitchen & Bath today!