More than ever, society is seriously starting to think about being more sustainable and eco-friendly in our day to day lives. This goes way beyond buying a bag for life or a reusable water bottle. We’re now starting to think about how our daily actions can be more consistently sustainable; and part of that starts in the home. Many consider the kitchen the heart of the home, so where better to start in making your house sustainable? Whether you’re planning a full kitchen overhaul, or just want to make a few more eco-friendly changes, this guide should give you some tips and inspiration to help get you started.
We all know we should recycle, but sometimes it can seem like too much effort to make a trip outside to the recycling bins (even though it really shouldn’t be). But luckily there’s a simple fix. Make the act of recycling require less effort, and you’re more likely to do it. If you’re getting a new kitchen, why not look at installing in-cupboard recycling bins. That way, the bins are hidden so they don’t look messy and you don’t have to go outdoors to use them. Alternatively, if you don’t have the cupboard space available you could just have dedicated bins for paper or plastic. There’s plenty of stylish options out there available to suit different kitchen styles.
If your kitchen has brilliant natural lighting, embrace it! Plan your kitchen layout to make the best use of the daylight, so that you don’t have to put the lights on so often. Why not put your kitchen table or prep areas near a window to soak up those rays. In the darker winter days, or in kitchens that aren’t blessed with good natural lighting, opt for LED lighting. Depending on your existing lights and which particular LEDs you install, the energy savings could be more than 90%! Not only this, but the LED lifespan lasts 40 times longer than your average incandescent bulb - just think of those savings!
There are a multitude of benefits to both you, and the environment when it comes to A+++ appliances. An A+++ appliance uses the minimum energy amount possible to complete its task, which saves both the planet and the pennies in your wallet, it’s reported you could save upto 30% on electricity bills. Who doesn’t love a saving? Using energy efficient appliances also minimises the exploitation of natural resources, so by opting for an A+++ appliance you’re helping the sustainable development project.
The first step is opting to energy efficient appliances, and the second is actually remembering to turn appliances off when you’re not using them. Too many of us are guilty of turning appliances to standby mode, and every year we waste £30 powering them. Not to mention the waste of energy! Make it part of your routine to turn off appliances properly when they’re not being used.
The materials you use in your kitchen are a real reflection of its impact on the environment. If your style suits it, why not opt for on-trend birch plywood which is made of thin sheets of timber that are sandwiched together for strength - and the best bit, minimal waste! Alternatively, opt for a sustainable wood open such as sustainable timber. Fast-growing species like Pine trees are generally much more sustainable than Oak which are slow-growing. You can incorporate these woods into your flooring, worktops, cabinets or even accessories!
Maintaining your kitchen in an eco-friendly way is just as important as setting it up with sustainability in mind. When cleaning your kitchen, opt for more natural and eco-friendly products, as opposed to conventional cleaning products which contain many more chemicals. When switching to a greener way of cleaning, you’re reducing the amount of harmful chemicals you release into the air and the waterways. Eco cleaning products generally opt for more sustainable packaging too, which helps to minimize waste. You can either buy eco cleaning products that are out there, or do a bit of your own research to create and use natural remedies. You’ll be surprised at how well vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and a bit bicarbonate of soda can work in the home.
So that’s it, 5 tips you can use to make your kitchen more eco-friendly! Some of these are simple changes you can make, and others will require greater time and financial commitment. However, we can all do our bit for the environment. Whether it’s just switching our bulbs, or remembering to take the recycling out.
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