Thursday, 7 August 2008

The Eco-Friendly Kitchen Remodel

The environment may be suffering from the endless barrage of technological advances, but your kitchen remodeling project doesn't have to contribute to the eco-unfriendly trend. Fortunately for the modern-day homeowner, there are many ways to remodel a kitchen without leaving behind a jarring impact on the world in which we live.

Late last year, Low Impact Living, a Web portal devoted to helping individuals lower the environmental impact of their home and their daily life, published an article titled "Low Impact Living: Green Your Kitchen." Therein, advice was given on how to reduce the "biggest resource hog" room in the house: the kitchen.

More specifically, the site offered the following seven suggestions to homeowners who are planning a kitchen remodel on how "to lower their environmental impact and also to live in a healthier home":

Tip #1: "Use energy-saving appliances." - In particular, the article recommends choosing appliances with an Energy Star label. Such appliances, the author points out, "can save as much as 50% of your energy and water use, and can cut your carbon footprint by 1000+ pounds, compared to standard appliances."

Tip #2: "Use compact fluorescent lighting." - These types of bulbs "use 1/4 the energy and last up to 10 times as long as standard bulbs," the author enthuses.

Tip #3: "Recycle and Re-Use." - Never throw away anything that can be used again. The world's landfills will thank you.

Tip #4: "Eat Organic, Eat Local." - Organic eating "keeps chemicals from running off into our oceans and rivers from non-organic farms" while local eating "means tons of carbon dioxide are not released into the atmosphere in the process of transporting food to you."

Tip #5: "Get green cleaners." - No more breathing "in a fine mist of harmful (to you and the environment) chemicals" every time you spray.

Tip #6: "Compost." - "Save landfill space and make your own rich potting soil using a composter," the author suggests

Tip #7: "Only run your dishwasher when you have a full load." - You'll save energy and water at the same time.

Tips # 4 through #7 are up to you once your kitchen has been remodeled, but tips #1 through #3 can be taken into consideration prior to your kitchen remodeling's commencement. To work maximum green friendliness into your remodeled kitchen, you'll want to consult an online provider of kitchen remodeling ideas and links to a wide array of recognized leaders in the world of cabinet, countertop, faucets, sinks, flooring, lighting, ventilation, window and appliance manufacturers. That way, you can pick and choose the kitchen remodeling options that are most environmentally friendly.

An environmentally friendly remodeled kitchen with Energy Star appliances, compact fluorescent lighting bulbs and recycle-encouraging furnishings is just a few mouse clicks away.

While you're at it, work these additional HGTV green kitchen ideas into your kitchen remodel:

Water-Saving Features - "Choose faucets with aerators, which inject air bubbles into the water stream to achieve the same pressure with less volume."

Flooring - "Linoleum is enjoying a comeback, largely due to its green properties."

Finishes - Look for "eco-friendly paints, stains and finishes that reduce exposure to harmful compounds."

Carmen Fontana is a Web Services Manger for Western Reserve Internet Services. She recommends visiting the SuperKitchens website for more information on remodeling your kitchen with green principles.

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