Green energy is often talked about in global terms. Large projects and vast changes are discussed. But one place to implement green energy solutions is right in your own kitchen. The kitchen uses a lot of your household energy. Here are some tips to get you started on making your kitchen energy efficient and “green.”
Start with the light bulbs. Install new LED or fluorescent ones, replacing the old, inefficient incandescent ones. This brings impressive energy savings over the years. Next, when you need a new appliance, especially a stove or refrigerator, look for one with a good Energy Star rating. An independent agency has tested these appliances and rated their efficiency. A more efficient appliance will save you money on your electric bill and also help you do your part combating global warming. The easiest measures you can take are in the area of efficiency and conservation of energy. The kitchen offers many opportunities for this, and so does your house as a whole. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use–this definitely includes your television set and computer. When baking in your oven, try to do more than one thing at once. If you are baking a roast, put a pan of potatoes to bake also, making more efficient use of the power you are using. Bake a pan of muffins while also baking a casserole. This will save you time, as well.
A lot of people make kitchen renovations. When you decide to renovate, use sustainable products to replace the old ones. Bamboo, for instance, grows quickly and is a sustainable resource. It is also very practical. Avoid using wood taken from trees harvested in the process of destroying the rain forest.
Use wood taken from sustainably managed forests. Don’t add to the destruction of the ecosystem. Wood cabinets certified by the Forestry Stewardship guarantee their “green” viability.
The kitchen is one of the rooms most often re-painted. Use paints that are not toxic–for your sake as well as that of the planet. If you have toxic household products or paints to get rid of, dispose of them properly as hazardous waste, not in the landfill. Never pour them down the drain. Find eco-friendly “green” household cleaning products to buy, or make them yourself. Recipes for these can be found on the Internet and will both save you money and protect your health.
Add thermal windows to your kitchen to increase natural light and reduce heating and cooling costs. Use a ceiling fan to equalize temperatures and reduce energy used for cooling.
Home improvement stores now carry many construction materials that are eco-friendly. Try to use these as much as possible when designing your renovated kitchen. Consider installing a couple of solar panels to power your refrigerator. This will save energy, and avoid loss of food during power outages.
The remodeled kitchen of your dreams can not only provide improved functionality and beauty, it can also be energy-saving and help the environment. More efficient appliances and lighting may cost a little more initially but are sure to pay for themselves many times over in the years to come.