Tips for creating and running an eco-friendly kitchen
We’ve known about the importance of being more environmentally friendly for many years now, but with the evidence of climate change and the impact of human consumption on the planet more apparent than ever the need to act has never been stronger.
It is certainly true that large scale changes need to be made on a world-wide governmental level for our net-zero carbon emissions targets to be reached, but there are plenty of smaller, personal changes we can all make too. Being more conscious of the impact our decisions have on the environment is an important first step to living in a greener society, and where better to start than by looking at ways we can reduce our carbon footprint in the kitchen?
On average, the kitchen generates the most waste of any room in your house, largely due to the amount of plastic food packaging we throw away every week. There are plenty of ways we can look to make our kitchens greener spaces, from the appliances we buy, to the food we use. Here are some ways you can help protect the environment from your kitchen.
Go for Green Kitchen Cabinets
If you’re looking to purchase a new fitted kitchen, you can take some time to investigate the green credentials of the manufacturers of your cabinetry and select a supplier who fits with your environmental ethos. One of our favourite kitchen manufacturers, Burbidge, pride themselves on their approach to considering the environment. They say;
“At Burbidge, we are proud of our commitment to producing such innovative, premium quality kitchens with due care and respect for our environment. Our timbers and timber products are sourced from well managed forestry in Europe and North America and we use paints that guarantee colour-fastness whilst having a low environmental impact.”
Go for Energy Efficient Appliances
Many of us are increasingly conscious of our energy consumption and this has resulted in manufacturers placing a renewed focus on developing energy efficient appliances. When buying a new kitchen appliance be sure to compare the energy ratings of each machine (these are found on stickers on the machines when looking in shops, or form part of the item description online). You should also think about the quality of the appliance as this often has a bearing on how long it will last. A quality product will often last longer than an inferior model, which ultimately results in less waste being sent to landfill and less energy being expended in manufacturing. We would always recommend purchasing the hight quality appliance you can afford if you want to look at reducing your carbon footprint and saving money in the long term.
If you’re considering shunning some appliances all together in the hope of being more eco-friendly, just bear in mind that some appliances are actually more efficient than using traditional methods. For example an efficient dishwasher actually uses less water than handwashing dishes in the sink. Definite food for thought!
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!
We don’t tend to give a huge amount of thought to our bins, but with lots of people now opting for integrated bins in their new fitted kitchens, they do require a little bit of attention. Lots of people like to go for both a landfill bin and a recycling bin concealed within a pull out cupboard, but these don’t need to be a 50:50 split. Why not go for a 60:40 set up, with a larger recycling bin to encourage a higher level of recycling? We’ve got a great selection of integrated bin solutions to meet whatever your requirements are when it comes to recycling.
Efforts to increase recycling and reduce waste can start long before you even need to throw anything away. Next time you’re doing your weekly shop why not consciously seek out the items with minimal, or fully recyclable packaging? You might just be surprised by how many refillable type products are now available – a shift that has been very much adopted by manufacturers following changes in consumer demand.
Go Green When You Clean
There is a great selection of environmentally friendly cleaning products available on the market now which limit the use of harmful chemicals. These eco-friendly products do a great job of keeping your home sparkling (and smell great too!) but are much less harmful to the environment. Many people who suffer from health conditions such as asthma also find they can be less aggravating than traditional cleaning products.
There are also lots of natural household items which can be used to great effect when cleaning. Baking soda , washing soda, lemon, olive oil, salt and white vinegar are all readily found at home and can be really effective for cleaning. Wiping a cut lemon around the inside of your kettle is a great eco-friendly way of getting ride of limescale, and baking soda is a fantastic natural stain remover and odour eliminator.
Reduce Waste Where You Can
Reducing waste is an easy way to do our bit for the planet, and when you really put your mind to it, it’s not that difficult at all. It’s also pretty rewarding!
One thing we’re all guilty of from time to time is prioritising convenience. How many times have we simply grabbed a new carrier bag from the supermarket checkout, rather than packing one to take with us ahead of a visit to the shops? Taking simple steps like taking your own bags to the shops, buying fresh, unwrapped food (think fruit and veg in particular) and buying refillable options rather than disposable ones are all little changes that can make a big difference. They may feel like hard work at first but will quickly become second nature.
It’s not always possible to avoid buying products in plastic packaging, but where it can’t be avoided try to reuse things where you can. Many cleaning products now come in refillable bottles; and glass pots and bottles can be washed out and reused for other things at home – jam jars make great vases!
It’s not just our plastic consumption and waste we can be mindful of in the kitchen. Food waste is one of the biggest things we can look to tackle at home and reducing it is actually very rewarding. If you are regularly throwing away food at the end of each meal, then you’re simply buying and cooking too much and could look at reducing your portion sizes. Not only is this good for the environment but will cut down your food bill too. If food items come in bigger packs than you need, why not indulge in a bit of batch cooking and freeze the extra portions for another day? It’s a great way of cutting down waste that means your freezer is always stocked with tasty meals too!
Where food waste is unavoidable, look to compost it. Most councils now collect food waste separately in compostable bags, or you can create your own compost heap at home to use on your garden. Compostable materials like cardboard and paper can also be added to the pile as they’ll break down naturally.
If you’re looking for a new responsibly sourced fitted kitchen, designed with the environment in mind, contact Kitchenroom today to discuss your requirements. With over 30 different kitchen styles available, we can help you find the perfect one to make your dream a reality. What’s more, with Kitchenroom you can always be assured of:
- First class personal service from start to finish
- 18 mm Rigid (assembled) wall and base units with doors already fitted
- 8 cabinet colour options (so not just white / ivory or oak) to match the colour of the kitchen
- 2 mm ABS edged cabinets
- Soft close Blum doors & drawers that come with a lifetime guarantee
- 25 year guarantee on our units / 10 years on Solid wood kitchens / 7 years on MDF kitchens
- A typical lead time of 3 – 4 weeks
- We can supply only or supply and arrange the fit of your new kitchen where we will take care of the whole project from start to finish
Want to know more?