Nowadays, “going green” isn’t simply a fad that’s fleeting as it was once thought to be. It’s a lifestyle that more and more people are incorporating in their everyday choices and it doesn’t end with choosing to eat organic food. We can go green by wearing organic material, reducing our plastic consumption at home, choosing to purchase products made from recycled material and recycling. Tons of companies are offering eco-friendly alternatives to their products and more people are willing to pay the extra price for the sake of the planet. If you’re concerned about your environmental impact, why not start with the place in your home where you spend the most time: the kitchen.
1. Have a recycling system
This is quite possibly the simplest thing you can do to live “green” in your kitchen without having to remodel or do a complex redesign. Incorporate a recycling system in your home and make sure the entire family is on board. Have separate recycling bins for glass, plastic and paper and take them to the proper place to recycle them. You might even be able to make some money by taking them to a buyback recycling center in your area. Majority of apartment complexes and neighborhoods have designated recycling bins to make things easier for you too! You just have to start separating recyclables from your trash!
2. Use energy efficient appliances
There are plenty of appliances available that are energy-saving such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners, stoves, dishwashers and water heaters. Choosing energy-efficient products not only saves the planet but saves you money as well. Refrigerators consume the most power in the home so make sure you take precautions to ensure it’s running properly. Make sure the door gasket isn’t lose and provides a tight seal so cold air doesn’t escape. It’s also a good idea to adjust the temperature of your fridge as the seasons change. Usually, the temperature dial needs to be turned down in the summer and turned up in the winter, because colder temperatures in the home can naturally causes the temperature in your refrigerator to go down and warmer temperatures during summer causes the refrigerator temperature to go up. Make sure to use a refrigerator thermometer and learn exactly how to set the temperatures of your fridge during appropriate times of the year.
3. Switch out your light bulbs
Unless your kitchen offers ample natural lighting during the day, it’s likely that the kitchen lights will be on most of the time that anyone is there. The kitchen has evolved into a general gathering place for families beyond simply eating and cooking as well. Although energy-efficient light bulbs cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, it’ll save you money in the long run by using less energy to emit light. When choosing to switch out your bulbs, consider using compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). An ENERGY-STAR-qualified CFL uses about one-fourth the energy of a traditional incandescent bulb and lasts ten times longer while emitting the same amount of light. It’ll take less than 9 months for a typical CFL to pay for itself in energy savings and will continue to save you money during its lifetime. ENERGY-STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20%-25% of the energy of incandescent bulbs and lasts up to 25 times longer.
4. Use water-based paints
Back in the day, the main paint that was used for homes were solvent-based paint (also called “oil-based” or “Alkyd” paints). These paints have a higher level of organic solvents than water-based paints which is why they emit a stronger odor when surfaces are recently painted. These fumes are hazardous to human health and to the environment so stricter regulations were enforced to encourage paint manufacturers to removed or reduce these toxic ingredients from their paints. Luckily today, with the advances of paint technology, water-based paints account for approximately 80% of paint sold on the market. They are basically waterborne acrylics yet offer the same superior quality as solvent-based paints such as excellent durability and quick drying time without the negative impact on the environment. Water-based paint is used on many of Aran Cucine’s collections such as the Licia kitchen featured above.
5. Remodel using recycled material
You might not have known this but some remodeling and redesign companies use recycled materials for their home design projects. Here at Aran Cucine, we recycle scrap wood to make panels and use reprocessed wood for boards and doors as often as we can. We take pride in our commitment to sustainable living and remain attentive to the environmental impacts of our manufacturing processes. You should even consider using recycled metal and glass for your kitchen surfaces if you’re planning to build a new kitchen or remodel your current one.
6. Use natural cleaning products
Opting for “green” cleaning products ensures a healthy and safe environment for your family and pets. Most cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that are naturally released into the environment when used and can pose risks to your eyes, nose and skin. It also raises the risk of developing asthma. Using green products reduces pollution in the air and water and minimizes our detrimental impact to the ozone layer by using less products that produce smog. Most eco-friendly companies that produce cleaning products also use recycled material for their packaging. Cheap and easy alternatives to store-bought cleaning products is a simple mix of water with vinegar and baking soda. Aran Cucine also applies silver-ion technology finishes to some of the kitchen collections. Silver-ions have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and when you mix it into paint and allow it to dry on surfaces, the silver-ion particles kill 99.99% of viruses, bacteria and microbes including E-coli, Salmonella, campylobacter and MRSA and reduces the growth of harmful mold.
There are many way you can turn your kitchen into a “green” one and even using one of these methods is your step closer to maintaining a sustainable environment for you and your loved ones. Every little thing you do to protect the planet can impact it in great ways in the long run.