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How to Maintain a Healthy, Sustainable Kitchen

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By Vanessa Brunner, Houzz

 

What does it mean to be “green,” anyway? The definition is always changing, and there always seems to be room for improvement. But we have learned that you don’t need to go through a full remodel or even spend a ton of money to make a difference.

We’ve gathered big and small changes you can make in your kitchen to make your home and life a little healthier, happier and kinder to our planet.

 


Buckminster Green LLC, original photo on Houzz

 

Shopping for an Ecofriendly Kitchen

1. Countertops. Searching for a new kitchen countertop? Try going the green route this time. Choosing recycled, reclaimed or repurposed materials can help reduce your home’s carbon footprint.

2. Appliances. Whether you’re purchasing the latest Energy Star–rated appliance for a new kitchen or just trying to figure out how to work with a clunky gas stove in an old one, here’s how to choose ecofriendly appliances.

 


Paul Davis Architects, original photo on Houzz

 

3. Natural light. The right lightbulb can help you reduce your electric bill and your carbon footprint. But embracing the sunlight might be the best thing you can do for your kitchen’s lighting.

4. Flooring. There’s a lot to consider if you want ecofriendly flooring. Has it been recycled? Salvaged? Is it free of toxins? How do you know? Here’s help choosing an ecofriendly kitchen floor for your home and budget.

 


Fireclay Tile, original photo on Houzz

 

5. Backsplashes. Today’s recycled tile proves that ecofriendly materials don’t have to skimp on style. Here are some options for beautiful backsplash tile that’s kind to your kitchen and the earth, too.

6. Cabinetry. Choosing ecofriendly cabinetry doesn’t just make for a healthier planet — it can help keep your family healthier, too. Find out which toxins to avoid and what labels to look for when shopping for new kitchen cabinetry.

 


Mai Corboy Design, original photo on Houzz

 

7. LED lighting. Using less energy and lasting longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs can amp up your kitchen’s lighting scheme and reduce your electricity bill.


Ecofriendly Cooking, Cleaning and Living

Having a greener kitchen isn’t just about buying the right items; it’s about making changes in the way you live. These small tips can make a big difference in your kitchen and your health in the long run.

 


Bright Green, original photo on Houzz

 

Making little changes — whether you start using glass storage containers or growing your own vegetables — can often have more of an impact on the health of the planet and you than an earth-friendly kitchen remodel.

 

Lindsey M. Roberts, original photo on Houzz

 

Sometimes it’s best to learn by example. This beautiful Maryland kitchen can show you just how great green can look. Get inspiration for your own home from this ecofriendly kitchen.


Related: 8 Elegant Design Tips for a Neutral Living Room

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