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Planning a makeover of your kitchen space? If you really want to feel refreshed and renewed at home, now’s the perfect time to work in some “green” features. Check out our 5 eco-friendly ideas for your kitchen remodel:
Backsplashes protect your delicate wall from steam and food splatter, but it doesn’t hurt that they also look fantastic. And if you’ve been thinking about installing one, why not do Mother Earth a favor by using recycled components? It’s not hard to find glass, ceramic, or stone tiles in a wide array of beautiful colors and patterns. With a little creative arrangement, you can whip up a truly unique and personalized kitchen space. Be sure to look for materials that are marked as 100% recycled, from post-consumer or post-industrial sources.
Think “big” with your next remodel – big windows, that is. We spend a lot of time in our kitchens, and that can lead to excessive use of the overhead lights. Flooding the room with sunlight allows you to brighten up that space without increasing your ecological footprint. As an added bonus, large windows will let you save on monthly utility bills. And since natural light is an excellent source of Vitamin D and a serotonin booster, you’ll look and feel better every day.
It may not be as “traditional” as hardwood or tile, but cork is an excellent choice if you’re looking to update your flooring with something unique. It’s durable, waterproof, slip-resistant, and soft yet firm: very easy on the feet all around. Cork is one of the most sustainable options you can choose from. It’s made from tree bark, and will fully regenerate every nine years or so – compare that to most hardwoods, which can take several decades (or more) to regrow!
Bamboo is famous for its incredible growth rate, making it hard to beat as far as renew-ability goes. But what you may not know is that it’s also naturally stronger and harder than most “hardwoods”! This is a great choice of material for everything from revamped cabinets to kitchen counters. Even if you choose to go with a different countertop material, a bamboo butcher’s block corner makes excellent use of limited space. And like cork, it can even make a high-performance (and very unique) flooring option.
Replacing your aging appliances can be a great long-term investment. Energy Star rated models will save you money on monthly electric bills, and often don’t cost more than their less-efficient counterparts. You may even be eligible for a rebate from the utility company, and/or federal tax credits!
Even if you don’t end up staying in your current home long enough for that new stove or fridge to pay for itself, you’ll still be able to command a higher price from prospective buyers. Think about where you’re placing these appliances, too, as it could effect their efficiency. Your refrigerator, for instance, should be kept out of direct sunlight and away from the oven – otherwise, it’ll have to work harder to stay cool.