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    Ideas for an eco-friendly kitchen

    How to keep your kitchen renovation green

    Hannah | Oneflare

    Whether you’re planning a new home build, conducting a renovation or looking to make some minor updates, there are plenty of ways to ensure your kitchen is sustainable.

    Eco-friendly kitchen renovations

    The first step in refreshing your kitchen is don’t discard – recycle. Before you touch anything, take a few snapshots of your kitchen and spread the word around that you’re looking to renovate. What seems like trash to you might be someone else’s treasure. Someone else nearby might want to take all of those unwanted kitchen fixtures off your hand, which might save you a lot of time and trouble, and possibly earn you some extra budget.

    There are many factors to consider when creating a more eco-friendly kitchen design / Source: SG2 design

    After that, decide on the scale of your renovation. Should you go all-out and change everything, or are you just looking for a few cosmetic touches? You might want to keep using some of your cabinets. There’s no need to toss them if you’re just putting in a bigger pantry or different kitchen island. Additionally, there is always the option of refacing the kitchen instead of replacing everything. Just try a new set of drawers or door fronts or a new coat of paint on everything. Those little changes might be all that you need for a new look.

    Green kitchen appliances

    All the different heat-using appliances in the kitchen – the oven, microwave, toaster, fridge – make that room one of the most energy-inefficient places in the entire house. The first thing to do to save energy is to look for the right appliances. Check out the Energy Rating labels. Choose a fridge that isn’t too big for what you’re going to use it for. Use gas for your oven instead of electric energy. Install “smart” appliances that know how to operate at peak energy efficiency.

    Eco-friendly appliances benefit both the owner and the planet. Manufacturers must comply with strict environmental standards to earn the Energy Star rating displayed on every product. Because of the legal requirements and increasing awareness and sophistication of consumers, manufacturers now compete not only on performance and cost, but also on the energy efficiency of the appliance.

    Buying eco-friendly appliances

    By law, Energy Star labels and the rating system for appliances must be in clear language and easy to understand. Each star represents an increment of energy efficiency. The higher the number of  stars, the higher the appliance rated in the efficiency tests. When an appliance uses both electricity and water, the label must rate for both. Dual use appliances, such as heater/air-conditioner units, must have separate ratings for each function. 

    However, a lot of work and research goes into those simple labels. Each appliance is submitted to a series of rigorous tests before it receives its star rating. Depending on the appliance, the difference between the star ratings represents a dramatic difference in the item’s energy usage. For example, the difference of a single star on an appliance may mean it is 25 percent more efficient than the lower rated competitor. As a result, a three-star refrigerator may be more expensive than a two-star model, it will be run up to 25 percent more efficiently. The difference in electricity costs will pay for the unit over time. 

    Contact local kitchen renovators

    One exception to the Energy Star is ovens and stovetops. They are typically not labeled. As a consumer, you must decide which is better for you. Generally, gas units are considered more efficient and cheaper to operate. If you prefer an electric range, consider an induction system. It is more expensive initially, but cheaper and safer to operate. 

    Other eco-friendly and green alternatives include compact fluorescent lights and LED lights. Consider adding solar panels to your home and converting to solar hot water heating. The true benefit of eco-friendly appliances and other products is that over the life of the unit you save energy, you save money, and you help save the environment. 


    The materials you use to construct your kitchen also make an environmental impact. Try using recycled timber, recycled glass or engineered stone when constructing your floor or benchtop – it will look just as good and will do wonders for the earth. 

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