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What Is an Environmentally-Friendly Kitchen?

Article Details
  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 05 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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An environmentally-friendly kitchen has a minimal impact on the environment and a small carbon footprint. These types of kitchens usually contain energy-efficient appliances and water-saving technologies, and can be built from the ground up with recycled materials. What comes into the kitchen and goes out of it is also geared toward minimizing environmental impacts.

The kitchen can greatly impact how environmentally friendly the house and its residents are and can be easily equipped to greatly cut back on water and electricity use. Aerators installed in sinks allow for less water use with the same effect, while water-efficient dishwashers can also be installed. Kitchen stoves, refrigerators, and freezers can all be huge drains on an energy bill, but energy-efficient models are available that will not only be environmentally friendly but will save money in the long run.

When building or remodeling an environmentally-friendly kitchen, recycled materials can be included in creative and efficient ways. Many companies offer countertops, backsplashes, and flooring options made from recycled materials. Recycled options are also available for wood cabinets, which can also be built from wood harvested from managed, sustainable forests.

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Energy-efficient windows can serve several purposes in an environmentally-friendly kitchen. Plenty of windows can minimize the need for artificial lighting, especially when positioned over key areas such as countertops. Letting in lots of natural light can also create the perfect environment for an indoor herb garden, which will not only add freshness to the food prepared in the kitchen but also minimize the need to purchase products grown with chemicals and shipped.

Those devoted to the green aspect of an environmentally-friendly kitchen often include other green items used on a daily basis. Bamboo plates and cutlery are made from a fast-growing and sustainable material, while water filters and reusable bottles cut down on plastic bottles used once and discarded. Many waste products that come out of a kitchen, such as vegetable peelings and leftovers, can be composted and used in an outdoor garden. An environmentally-friendly kitchen is often equipped to maximize the amount of recycling, from newspapers to plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

Cleaning products are another area where those who have an environmentally-friendly kitchen can help keep it that way. In place of harsh chemicals that get washed into the environment, some common household products can double as efficient and natural cleaners. Baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and cornstarch can be used as cleaners and odor absorbers on their own, or can be mixed in different ways to create tough and biodegradable cleaners.

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