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The Joy of a Green Kitchen

We’re into the second decade of 21st century and eco-friendly options are so much more viable and affordable than several years ago. These options include a myriad of materials, appliances and techniques that reduce pollution and fuel energy consumption like: green materials for cabinets, countertops and floors, green finishing, energy-efficient appliances and thorough insulation methods. If you would like to remodel your kitchen in a way that is more environmentally aware, these are some things to keep in mind.

Assess the situation

Why do you want to remodel exactly? Is the space cramped or too vast? Are there any problems with traffic? Are the appliances distributed in a way that makes it easy to prepare a meal and maintain cleanliness? Does the kitchen serve your needs? Size is an important consideration, because a smaller kitchen is more efficient. If you like working in the kitchen or having a large space for entertaining, that’s perfect – you should just make sure the space can accommodate these needs without imposing clutter. Is the kitchen too hot or cold? Basically, make a list of all the things you’d like to change paying attention to movement, efficiency and comfort.

Do any other remodeling needs affect the kitchen remodel?

This is mostly about air leakage. If your home is very leaky, it’ll be a tall order to make the kitchen energy-efficient. The kitchen remodel should be evaluated within the whole home.

Adding in is better than adding on

As we’ve already said, a smaller kitchen is more energy efficient than a huge one. Adding new attractive features like a larger fridge, a wine cooler or just another bulky modern appliance may be tempting, but do try to analyze the benefits of such a move against the space and the energy and water consumption. Storage would be a far more important consideration – maybe your space should be reorganized so that you can store groceries and kitchenware in a more economical way.

Make preparations for the future

If there are some retrofits and upgrades you’d like to do some time in the future, but cannot afford now, your remodel plan can at least prep your home for that. For example, pre-wiring for a photovoltaic system can be done so that it’s easier to install once you get to that. Pre-plumbing for graywater can also be carried out, so that saves you time and money in the future.

green remodelingThink about the future

How long do you plan on living in your home? If you’re planning to grow old in it, take that into account when it comes to the kitchen layout. Keep the cabinets accessible and the appliances should be distributed in such a way that they don’t require a lot of moving around. Having the timeframe in mind will also decide what materials to use – should you invest in those that will last you forever or can some more affordable ones do?

Efficient appliances and systems

The kitchen hood should take the air directly out of the house.

The general lighting should be airtight and there should be some task lighting like under-cabinet lights and fixtures over table all made from recycled and recyclable materials. The lighting should meet the state Title 24 standards for efficient lighting.

The dishwasher should have more energy stars than the minimum.

The water heater should be efficient – consider getting a tankless water heater.

Finishing

It would be ideal to have green finishes with zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The natural flooring is linoleum.

Furniture

Cabinetry made of bamboo is naturally low in VOC.

It would be great to have plywood and wood materials certified with Forest Stewardship Council, which will guarantee the wood comes from a responsible forest management.

Countertops can be coated with natural local wax.

 

If you live in San Diego County and are considering remodeling your kitchen, don’t hesitate to contact GGR Energy + Remodeling. We are a professional, award-winning remodeling service company which values integrity, sustainability and enjoyment of a perfect home. Our dynamic team of experienced designers is here to help you make a life-changing decision wisely and to your best interest.