- Use energy-efficient appliances: Where possible, replace your existing kitchen appliances with energy-efficient models. These high-efficiency devices will significantly reduce the amount of energy used while still providing top-quality functionality. Look for Energy Star-certified appliances. Check EnergyGuide labels or other sources of information for detailed data on energy use and efficiency.
- Use efficient lighting: Install high-efficiency lighting systems for your kitchen. These can include LED lighting systems or other lighting designed to use less energy. Replace standard incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs.
- Use sustainable materials: Install sustainable kitchen cabinets built from wood or wood products from manufacturers that use certified sustainable forest management practices. The Forest Stewardship Council, for example, provides such certifications. Use green countertop material, such as recycled countertops, cement, recycled paper, recycled glass, and other reclaimed and sustainable material. Put in kitchen flooring of cork or other coverings made of sustainable materials.
- Apply active recycling: Take steps to make recycling an active and integral part of your kitchen activities. For example, install lower cabinets with pull-out recyling bins that are easy to access and use. Teach children how to recycle and what materials should be recycled and what should be thrown away.
Your kitchen is one of the most energy-intensive areas of your home. Cooking stoves, ovens, appliances, kitchen gadgets, refrigerators, dishwashers–all of these devices consume significant amounts of energy and increase your monthly expenses. Green kitchen renovations can help reduce these expenditures while creating a kitchen environment that is pleasant, effective, and productive.