There are many ways to go with remodeling your outdated kitchen to a more sustainable one. You may opt to completely replace everything that’s currently in your kitchen or simply refresh and reuse the items. By doing so, you can help reduce your carbon footprint in the kitchen and lower your monthly bills.
If the thought of upgrading your kitchen to a more sustainable one, ever crossed your mind but you found it too daunting or you simply don’t know where to start or what to do, here’s what you need to know:
Choose eco-friendly materials
When you opt to completely remodel your kitchen, you should pick out recycled or sustainable materials such as those made from cork, bamboo, or locally sourced wood. This is so you could contribute to the sourcing of more sustainable materials rather than buy a mass-produced material. However, the better alternative is to revamp an existing material, make it look better and functional, then install it in your kitchen.
Replace your countertop
For countertops, you should not go for cheaply made ones as it most likely has a shorter life. You will be forced to replace it with a better one in such a short time. The point of making your kitchen sustainable is making sure that everything lasts a long time. So, you better get a sturdy countertop such as those made from glass or quartz.
Clear up your windows
It’s high time to remove blackout curtains from your windows. Take advantage of the natural sunlight during the daytime to avoid having to turn on the lights. You should also get rid of anything blocking the windows such as a hanging spice rack by the window to make sure the room gets enough light and proper ventilation.
Use energy-efficient light fixtures
If you’re still using old halogen or incandescent bulbs for your kitchen, it’s time to replace them with more energy-efficient bulbs such as CFLs or LEDs. This is not only eco-friendly but also will save you a lot of money on your electrical bill. If possible, you should also install a dimmer switch to use up less energy.
Switch to a convection oven
Convection ovens may be expensive, but it uses less energy than a standard kitchen oven. This is because it circulates the heat inside the oven and also reduces the carbon emission while cooking. It reduces the time you spend using it and also regulates the heat effectively.
Upgrade your cooking cookware and utensils
Most of your existing utensils can probably stay in your upgraded kitchen but if you want to take a step closer to having a fully sustainable kitchen, consider replacing your current utensils with those made from bamboo, silicone, or stainless steel. The same goes for your existing cookware. Go for the most long-lasting ones such as those made from ceramic, or glass.
Check your refrigerator
Your refrigerator may be the culprit of your high electric bill per month. It’s best to check if your refrigerator is in need of repair or replacement by observing its temperature. If it’s not as cold as it used to be, you better consider taking it to be repaired as it uses up more energy than it should.
You should also check if the door can still be sealed tightly when closed by putting a piece of paper between the door and the fridge and pulling on the piece of paper after you closed the fridge door. If you can pull the paper out, you have to replace the rubber around the door.
When storing leftover food in the fridge, you should always keep in mind to keep it covered. This is so you could avoid contamination and bacteria build-up inside your fridge.
If you have a garden or simply want to reduce waste in the kitchen, practice composting food scraps, eggshells, and other biodegradables in the kitchen. By doing this, you can avoid contributing to the amount of food that ends up in landfills that produce greenhouse gases. You can use the compost you collect as fertilizer on both your indoor and outdoor plants.
Segregate garbage properly
Always separate recyclable or reusable garbage like empty condiment bottles from those that will go straight to the trash. This makes it identifying which could be recycled or not for garbage collectors. Also, you can go through the recyclables pile and repurpose some of those yourself.
Watch your water consumption
Always, always turn off the faucet when not in use. When washing fresh vegetables make sure to turn off the faucet after use. The same goes for when you’re washing your hands. Water consumption is one of the things you should always keep an eye out for to conserve it for future generations and because water treatment also contributes to carbon emissions.
Get help from an expert
Whether you have a plan or not, it’s best to consult an expert in sustainable materials or interior design to make sure you are on the right track. This also ensures that you only get the best materials and carry out the best plan possible. However, if you are renting, make sure to get consent from your landlord before making any changes to your apartment.