Planning Your Remodel: Five Ways to Go Green When You Remodel Your Kitchen 901

If you’d like to remodel your kitchen, there are plenty of ways to build the kitchen of your dreams and be eco-friendly as well. These green remodeling tips will help you update one of the most important rooms in your house, while helping the environment and trimming your energy bills at the same time.

1. Reuse Items from Your Old Kitchen

Reusing is one of the keys to green remodeling. No matter how much you’d like to change and improve your kitchen, chances are there are a number of items from your current setup that can be reused. These might include hardware, faucets, sinks, cabinets and appliances. Naturally, the more you can reuse or refurbish, the less you’ll have to spend.

2. Choose Eco-Friendly Materials

Due to increased demand, stylish and environmentally friendly kitchen materials are becoming more economical and widely available. Eco-friendly elements to consider include:

  • Sustainable kitchen cabinets made from wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. These are produced using non-toxic elements and wood harvested using sustainable forest management practices.
  • Eco-friendly countertops, which are typically made using recycled or sustainable content, eco-friendly manufacturing processes and low-toxicity binders.
  • Green flooring, such as Linoleum or cork. Both of these materials are resistant to moisture, provide cushion underfoot, and are made with sustainably-harvested materials.

3. Upgrade to More Efficient Appliances

Remodeling your kitchen offers a good opportunity to upgrade to better and more energy-efficient appliances. Energy Star appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers use less energy and run up lower utility bills. Not all appliances need to be replaced, but if yours are more than 10 years old, you can probably benefit from a newer model.

4. Update Your Lighting

This is a good idea in every room of your house, but remodeling your kitchen provides the perfect opportunity to modernize your lighting. Fluorescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and they last years longer. You can also install a skylight, along with well-placed and energy-efficient windows (sunlight, after all, is free).

5. Save Water

If your faucet was made before 1997, it should be replaced. Be sure to install one with a water-saving aerator. You can also save water and improve its quality with an under-the-counter water purifier, which is roughly ten times more efficient than a faucet-mounted purifier.

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