ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY KITCHEN TRENDS
Going green is not just a trend these days; it’s a responsible way to live your life. When designing your dream kitchen, there are myriad ways to consider the environment without sacrificing the beauty of the most popular room in your home. With eco-friendly options to cover almost every square inch, from the floor to the ceiling, it will be easy to make your personal contribution to protecting the environment.
According to kitchen designer Amanda Harolds of Alliant Cabinets Direct in Oklahoma City, Okla., there are beautiful options in cabinetry these days from Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP)-certified manufacturers. This certification comes through the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) and is based on compliance in five categories, including air quality, product resource management, process resource management, environmental stewardship and community relations. With a stunning assortment of cabinet options available, you will have no problem finding a manufacturer and a style that meet both your design and environmental standards.
Flooring is another area of the kitchen that benefits from eco-friendly options. Cork, for example, is a wonderful alternative to tile and hardwoods. It’s not only beautiful and environmentally friendly, but it’s also warmer, quieter and softer. So, when you inevitably drop a glass on your cork floor, you can rest assured that neither the glass nor the floor will be damaged. Priced comparably to hardwoods, cork is an alternative flooring option with benefits that go beyond its greenness.
When it comes to countertops and backsplashes, there are some wonderful products out there today that are created from recycled glass. Vetrazzo makes a beautiful product that’s comprised of 85% recycled glass, which comes from salvaged sources including beer bottles and traffic lights. While not an inexpensive product, the higher cost is offset by the product’s durability and longevity. And from an aesthetics standpoint, these surfaces rival anything you’ve seen from granite or man-made materials.
An easy way to help your kitchen in its overall quest for environmental friendliness is to simply install a base cabinet with pullouts for a trash can and recycling bin. This is a clean look because it keeps your trash can hidden, and it also serves as a reminder to continually recycle your cans and bottles. If you do your part, perhaps your next countertop will be made from your very own recycled glass.
Ultimately, the best way to create a green kitchen is to utilize energy-efficient and ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances. These appliances use 10 – 50% less energy and water than standard models, which not only helps the environment, but also helps save you money. So, while these appliances may cost a little more at the outset, they more than make up for it with their value over time.
Green kitchen design options are very easy to find these days. With a little research and advice from the pros, you’ll be well on your way to designing a dream kitchen that’s a dream for the environment as well.
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