A kitchen remodel is the perfect opportunity to go green. Here are some options for your new kitchen workspace.
Countertops have come a long way since your grandmother’s beloved Formica. Now there are several fashionable and green options available to the discriminating decorator inside you.
- Recycled paper countertops are composite recycled paper, resin and pigment, creating a non-porous durable surface that rivals granite. And unlike granite, recycled paper countertops emit no radon, which has been linked to lung cancer. A wide variety of finishes are on offer, from flat to high gloss. A kaleidoscope of colour options will suit any kitchen décor.
- Cement, or concrete countertops are affordable and sustainable. In fact, a handy DIY person could skip the contractor altogether, using one of several kits that are for sale on the market. Concrete countertops are strong, and the finished product resembles Corian or Soapstone.
- Reclaimed wood is perhaps most popular for its historical interest than anything else. The finish and patina are not usually something you can choose, but your kitchen countertop will certainly be the centre of conversation as you regale your guests with the story of the old church, pub, or school that your countertop came from.
Good lighting in the kitchen is essential, both for food preparation and food enjoyment. You can also employ energy saving lighting to reduce your energy consumption
- Consider installing a skylight over your food prep area or sink. On grey, dull days the extra light may enable you to work without turning on the lights. On sunny days, the natural light will boost your serotonin levels as well as make your kitchen positively sunny.
- Recessed lighting is now possible using LED or halogen spotlights that use only a fraction of the energy of traditional bulbs. Installing a dimmer switch will guarantee control over the exact amount of light you desire.
- Replacing your existing light receptacle bulbs with fluorescent bulbs might be a good idea. Just be sure to recycle the bulbs correctly as the mercury in fluorescent bulbs cannot be added to landfills.
Even if you’re a kitchen survivor instead of a kitchen cook, you will appreciate these comfortable eco-friendly flooring options.
- Cork is relatively new to the flooring materials conversation, but now that it’s here, it will never go away. Cork can be harvested without killing the tree itself, which means it is the ultimate in sustainable green products. It is resilient, waterproof and has “give, ” meaning it is easy on the feet after a long day at the office. If you think your cork kitchen floor is going to look like your bulletin board, think again. The new cork floors are nearly indistinguishable from hardwood. Unlike wood laminate, cork absorbs sound so dropped items won’t deafen eardrums.
- Believe it or not, vinyl flooring is a green flooring option. Made with wood dust, vegetable fibres and linseed oil, it is offered in a wide selection of patterns and finishes.
Take advantage of your kitchen remodel to save money on energy costs and go green.