10 Ways To Renovate Your Kitchen Sustainably
If completed correctly, renovating your kitchen sustainably improves the value of your home and also leaves you feeling guilt-free. Its a win-win.
However, the process can seem overwhelming. There’s a lot to consider when choosing your products, design, and companies, including the quality, longevity, and environmental impact of every step of your renovation, which is also affected by the materials and mode of transport used to end up in your kitchen.
To make this process a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most important things to consider when starting your eco-friendly renovation.
1. Recycle Your Old Kitchen
When beginning your renovation, it is important to remember that a kitchen you have grown tired of is not always one that has no value.
Thousands of kitchens every year are sent to landfill during home renovations. It’s worth looking into ways to sell or recycle your old kitchen, rather than sending it to landfill. The Used Kitchen Company sell second-hand and ex-showroom kitchens and are happy to help with the process of rehoming your kitchen.
And make use of your Kitchen Passport to make the process of rehoming your kitchen easier, storing all of your details in one, easily transferable place.
2. Work With What You’ve Got
Using your space effectively is the easiest way to reduce waste.
Make sure that you are designing a kitchen tailored perfectly to you; If you don’t cook a lot, why waste so much space and materials on a huge kitchen? Remember, smaller is better. The smaller the kitchen, the fewer materials are needed, the less waste produced, and the less money you will need to spend.
Make sure to make use of what you already have – are there any elements of your current kitchen you want to maintain, reuse or refurbish? Work with designers and consultants that will help you incorporate and utilize your space effectively. Maximize your space through the utility of corner units, drawers, and other nooks and crannies.
3. Use Sustainable Materials For your Kitchen Units
Make sure to consider the economic, environmental, and social implications of the materials used for your worktops and units. Working with designers and companies that are conscious of their carbon footprint and sustainability will help you find the best materials for your kitchen. Many environmentally-conscious kitchen companies will only use locally sourced materials that are sustainable and FSC trusted. These are companies are good to work with and can assure you that the Kitchen you end up with will be sustainable.
Choose doors and work-tops that are free from harsh-chemicals and can be maintained in the long run through re-painting and re-modelling. Longevity is very important when renovating your kitchen, and helps keep overall costs to a minimum.
4. Choose Appliances Wisely
Longevity is the most important thing to consider when choosing appliances for your kitchen. Whilst the cheapest options may be tempting, these are often most prone to excessive energy use and frequent replacements.
Definitely look out for the life span, energy and water performance ratings of your appliances before buying, and make sure that their brand has sustainability policies in place.
5. Water Efficiency
The water efficiency of your kitchen is something you should definitely consider when renovating sustainably. Choose more eco-friendly products and companies when choosing your water fitting features and taps. Low-flow faucets conserve water without sacrificing the luxurious feel of high water pressure. High quality dish-washers, whilst more expensive, are a lot more water efficient than more lower-end brands.
Another addition to your kitchen which improves both your water efficiency and energy usage is investing in a boiling water tap. This saves energy from boiling a kettle and provides you with hot water on demand.
6. Air Quality
Make sure your kitchen is well-ventilated, with windows and a fan as this can make the air in your home much healthier. Indoor air may be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air.
Pay attention to the board and wood products used in the construction of your cabinets, as some can be treated with harsh chemicals such as formaldehyde. Try to find safer options, or make sure that your kitchen is ventilated enough to improve the air quality hindered by these chemicals.
7. Decor and Painting
When decorating your kitchen, there are many sustainable options you should explore. Make sure to use low or no VOC paints (paints without chemical ingredients that evaporate into the atmosphere when the paint is drying), which you can buy from companies such as Little Green & Co, which also have a brilliant line of sustainable wallpapers from sustainable sources and recycled paper.
There are also many other companies which sell reclaimed decor, such as Eco Friendly Tiles, who sell recycled tiles, that provide eco-friendly alternatives when decorating your kitchen.
Using reclaimed flooring for your kitchen is a great way to stay eco-friendly. Reclaimed wood flooring is often pre-seasoned, which means it will not warp and will last for years.
If you are not interested in reclaimed wood, make sure to look for companies using natural materials from sustainable sources instead. Linoleum and Cork are both great flooring materials made from renewable resources that make them sustainable choices for your new kitchen.
9. Reclaimed Furniture
Taking second-hand furniture and materials and repurposing them to suit your kitchen is a brilliant way to save money and the planet at the same time. This not only saves items from land-fill but can also bring more character to your kitchen.
Finding old items around your house or on second-hand websites, and repurposing them for your kitchen with a lick of paint or a little D.I.Y action will give your kitchen a unique edge.
10. LED Lighting
In recent years, LED bulbs have become a lot cheaper than they once were. Although still not the cheapest on the market, LED lighting is the most energy-efficient and eco-friendly way to brighten up your kitchen. With a life-span of up to 10,000 hours, and coming in many different colours, LED lights are a perfect way to keep your kitchen brighter for longer, without the guilt of wasting energy.