Have you been thinking about making your kitchen more eco-friendly? You’re not alone. The pandemic has made many people reconsider what they want out of their spaces. In fact, nearly 50% say that spending more time at home during lockdown has made them interested in making a few eco-friendly changes.
So where’s the best place to start creating a ‘greener’ home? The kitchen, of course! The kitchen has always been the heart of the home, so it’s a natural starting point for building your eco-friendly space.
Here are 5 simple but effective changes you can make to get you on the right track…
1. Minimise waste
Did you know that more than 900 million tonnes of food is wasted each year? And perhaps even more worrying is that food waste is responsible for up to 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. However, there are plenty of ways that you can make a difference in your own kitchen. The obvious way to reduce waste is to only buy what you need, but that can sometimes be tricky. If you do have food you can’t use, consider popping it in a compost bin, donating to a food bank, or freezing it.
2. Remodel strategically
Right now, with summer holidays still off the table for many, a lot of us are investing more in home improvements. So if you’re thinking of remodelling your kitchen, think about how you can make changes in an eco-friendly way. There are lots of different options, like using VOC-free paints, and only replacing what you need to. Keeping the carcasses and just replacing the cupboard doors, for example. Also look into eco-friendly materials; for example, sustainable alternatives to lacquered solid wood include melamine panels.
3. Rethink appliances
If your kitchen appliances are older models, you may be able to reduce your energy consumption by upgrading to newer, more energy-efficient alternatives. There are some excellent energy-saving features available today, including quick wash settings or half-load settings on dishwashers and washing machines. Even some refrigerators have some cool features, like ‘holiday mode’. This operates with less power during periods when the fridge door is unlikely to be opened.
4. Reduce water usage
From cooking to cleaning, water plays a big role in many kitchen tasks. But the truth is that many of us unintentionally run much more water than we really need. A good way to tackle this is to add an aerator to your kitchen taps. This can reduce the flow from the average 18 litres per minute to just 8 litres per minute, without impacting the strength of the stream. And considering it costs around £0.03 to run a tap for one minute, reducing the flow of water can really help you to save on your annual utility bills, too.
5. Change your cleaning products
You may have favourite soaps, cleaners, and detergents that you automatically pick up off the supermarket shelves. If so, it’s a good idea to check the ingredients to see if they’re supporting your efforts to create an eco-friendly kitchen – or sabotaging them. Some products can contain petrochemicals made from non-renewable fuel sources, or ingredients that are harmful to the environment. Look for soaps and detergents that are non-toxic and biodegradable… or make your own from lemon and vinegar!
Going green starts with the kitchen
The five options above may be the simplest changes you can make to get started on creating an eco-friendly home, but they’re definitely not your only choices. There are so many possibilities in the kitchen. It could be something as straightforward as turning the oven off five minutes before the timer dings. It could be something bigger, like putting in patio doors to maximise natural light. Going green – especially in the kitchen – can be a lot easier than you might think, and really can help to protect the planet’s future.