Making your kitchen greener doesn’t require an extensive remodel. A few updates can help you conserve energy and reduce water use. Here are five environmentally friendly kitchen fixtures that will make your kitchen greener.
Reduce energy consumption with LED lighting
You’ve probably replaced all the incandescent bulbs in your house with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or are well on your way to doing so. CFLs use one-quarter the electricity of incandescent bulbs. You can reduce your energy use even further with the latest LED light fixtures. LED lights use 90 percent the energy of incandescent bulbs. New LED designs produce a soft, warm lighting effect. LED lighting fixtures work well set into the ceiling or under the cabinets.
Install passive lighting
If your kitchen has limited access to natural light, you can remedy this with a sun tunnel. A sun tunnel works by moving sunlight. A sun tunnel, like a skylight, uses no electricity at all. A dome outside the house receives sunlight, and a highly reflective tunnel sends the sunlight to an outlet. A sun tunnel to your kitchen ceiling provides natural daylight both summer and winter. Sun tunnels do not gain or lose heat.
Conserve water with a low-flow kitchen faucet
Low-flow faucets cut water use by one-third, but still provide good water pressure. The trending high, arching kitchen faucets that allow large pots to be directly filled at the sink can easily be found in low-flow versions. Some faucet designs allow you to regulate the water flow up or down. Look for WaterSense certification from the EPA, a guarantee that the faucet is conserving water. You can also install an aerator on your existing faucet. It will reduce water flow substantially.
Get a recycled kitchen sink
Replace your old sink with one made of recycled materials. There’s quite a variety from which to choose. Stainless steel sinks are typically made with 60 percent recycled material. They can made of completely recycled steel. You can also find recycled copper sinks. Some manufacturers offer set-in sinks made of 100-percent recycled glass or porcelain. These can be quite elegant and innovative in style.
Install water dispensers
Plastic water bottles are a major ecological problem. Never buy another water bottle. Installing a faucet with a filter allows you to get good drinking water right from the tap. If you drink tea all day or frequently boil water for any other reason, you can reduce your overall energy consumption with a hot-water dispenser at the kitchen sink as well.
With a few tweaks, your kitchen can be made substantially more environmentally friendly. The savings in energy and water consumption will be reflected in lower utility bills. You end up also saving money.