The mood these days is very much being attuned to nature, and never is that more pertinent than when you’re using the bounty of mother nature to cook up a storm in the kitchen. And there is so much you can do when it comes to this room to reduce your impact on the environment, from switching up the cleaning products you use to reducing plastic and being conscious of energy use. If you’re planning a kitchen redesign, you have a great opportunity to build in eco-friendly design measures from the ground up to create a space that’s kind to the planet and also kind to your wallet while having the design wow factor.
Choosing Conscious Design
Beautiful natural materials are not only great to look at, but they’re also hardwearing and a worthwhile long-term investment for your forever home. Flooring or worktops in natural stone are yours to love for a lifetime with the correct aftercare. There are other options to access the best materials – you could source pre-loved pieces such as a solid wood dresser or dining table. If you already have beautiful worktops in your kitchen, they don’t have to be scrapped- instead, you could choose just to replace the cupboard doors with a more modern design and update hardware such as taps and kitchen sinks, sourcing new ones online through a site such as tapwarehouse.com. Add a few new light fittings and some great accessories, and you have a revamped look for less that is also kinder to the environment.
Either way, choosing to invest in quality materials is the planet-friendly choice, rather going for cheap, bad quality flat packs that break and wear out easily and need replacing far more frequently than alternatives made from natural materials. In turn, reusing or replacing less often lowers the demand on the planet in terms of manufacturing and transport.
Get The Green-Fingered Look
Nothing sets solid wood and natural stone off like an abundance of beautiful greenery via some stunning foliage, and keeping houseplants is also great for the environment as they purify and filter the air. Hardy perennials like spider plants, or succulents like cacti are ideal – or you could for edible plants to provide greenery and an extra-special touch to your cooking – try chilli plants or tomatoes or herbs like basil, coriander and mint. Having a herb garden on your windowsill is so useful.
The big trend over the past few years has been to blur the boundaries between inside and out – either by installing bifold doors that lead out into the garden, providing tantalising views of the green space beyond and allowing the back of the house to open right up. Another idea with serious impact is to create a living wall. These are large panels made up of moss and other plants that live on the wall vertically. With all this verdant green, add to the scheme using a colour scheme drawn from nature and add accessories and furniture made from responsibly sourced materials, like bamboo wood.
Cut Your Power Consumption
Going for the green look is one thing, but if you’re serious about going greener, you will also need to look at reducing your energy consumption as well. When it comes to replacing white goods, there are now so many refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers which are specifically designed to cut energy use. If you haven’t replaced these appliances for some time, going for newer, eco-friendly options could also save you money on your energy bills. There are washing machines with low water usage and power-saving freezers that use less energy each day and save you time on frequent defrosting.
Lighting is also an important consideration..swapping to energy saving LED spotlights gives a sleek look but also saves energy while increasing illumination. Hook up your house to a smart meter, and you can then monitor energy usage in real time. This gives you more opportunities to reduce and save, helping the planet and your wallet in one move.
Using Eco-Friendly Materials
Another opportunity which comes with a kitchen redesign is the chance to use raw materials which are kind to the planet. FSC certified timber is a mark to help buyers identify wood products that come from managed forests with replanting schemes. This promise of sustainability can be found in products from flooring to furniture. Recycled glass is also a great pick for splashbacks, or look for reclaimed tiles for something original, unique and kind to the planet as well.