There are all kinds of reasons why people remodel their kitchens – some want an updated look; some want more efficient, reliable appliances; still others want more storage or counter space.
Whatever your reasons are for remodeling, thinking green can contribute to your efforts.
Here are some of the main aspects of your kitchen, and how to remodel them in a green way.
Your kitchen counters are a major part of the design. There are green options for all kinds of design needs, such as:
* PaperStone – This durable countertop material is made from recycled and natural substances. It is petroleum free and made in the USA, meaning little fossil fuel is used in its manufacture and transport. Paper and cardboard are saturated with a water-based resin, and then pressed and heated to make a dense, heat-resistant countertop.
* Mosaic – Mosaic countertops can be made from recycled glass or other recycled material, such as broken ceramic or porcelain. You can mosaic your countertops yourself using your own broken glass or dishes, old marbles, cracked teacups, and so forth.
* Bamboo – Durable and sustainable, bamboo countertops give a natural look to your kitchen. It is easy to cut to size if you want to do some of your remodeling yourself, and there are no toxic chemicals associated with bamboo.
If you have solid, natural wood cabinets already, consider repainting, refinishing, and/or relocating your existing cabinets. If you are looking for new cabinets, bamboo and mango wood are sustainable wood choices. You can also make your own from salvaged wood, or purchase from cabinet-making companies that use salvaged wood. Avoid fiberboard, particleboard, vinyl, and other chemically-laden materials.
Your kitchen floor is going to have to be durable, long-lasting, and free from chemicals for it to fit the green bill. Here are some options to consider.
* Linoleum – Natural linoleum (not to be confused with vinyl flooring, which many people mistakenly call linoleum) or marmoleum are made from natural, sustainable, and sometimes recycled materials. Both types of flooring come in an enormous variety of colors and patterns.
* Bamboo – Once again, bamboo comes into play as a sustainable option for wood flooring. Natural and easy to clean, bamboo is durable and attractive.
* Eucalyptus – Another sustainable wood, eucalyptus is dense and durable. It is not unlike bamboo.
* Recycled rubber tiles – Recycled rubber is water-resistant, and you can lay the tiles down yourself without professional installation. No toxic adhesives are required, either.
When it comes to appliances, you can go with new or used, and both have their green advantages. New appliances with the Energy Star rating will save you money and reduce your energy use. Buying used or refurbished appliances reduces waste. Either way, make sure the energy use from your appliances is minimal. Remodeling is a great chance to increase the energy efficiency of your kitchen.