Looking for green renovation ideas to implement in your kitchen? From energy-efficient appliances to sustainable materials, you can create an eco-friendly kitchen that allows you to save money and help protect the environment. Check out these 17 sustainable kitchen upgrade ideas below!
Try Eco-Friendly Paint
Time to update the wall color in your kitchen? Be sure to use non-toxic paint! Natural paint is made from materials like clay, milk proteins, or citrus, which are solvent-free and have zero levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When deciding on the perfect color, look for GREENGUARD-Certified paint, which helps reduce indoor air pollution and the risk of chemical exposure, making your kitchen remodel more environmentally friendly!
Update the Windows
Replacing old windows is another green kitchen upgrade! Eco-friendly windows help minimize the heat transfer between the inside of your home and the outdoors. Swapping your windows for Energy Star-certified windows has shown to lower household energy bills by 12% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Not ready to install new windows? Try weatherstripping!
Changing out your kitchen countertops is a great way to create a green kitchen! Consider using recycled glass or even reclaimed wood for your counters. These sustainable materials are maintenance-free, non-porous, don’t require toxic sealants, and will last a long time without cracking or chipping. Quartz is also an eco-friendly option made from natural material that lasts a long time and can be recycled!
Pick Sustainable Flooring
If you’re going to install new flooring as part of your kitchen upgrade, consider using eco-friendly material. Recycled tiles, bamboo, cork, or sustainably sourced hardwood are some of the many flooring options to consider for your green kitchen makeover! Whichever material you choose, you won’t have to sacrifice beauty for sustainable living.
Choose Recycled Materials
When picking out new materials for your kitchen, consider reusing what you already have. If you have leftover wood from flooring or countertops, create floating shelves. Or use cabinet handles from a dresser on your new cabinets. Refurbishing and repurposing items where you can still allows you to create a stunning kitchen while saving items from collecting in landfills!
Reface Your Cabinets
Looking to update your kitchen cabinets? Refacing cabinets has a much smaller carbon footprint than a complete kitchen remodel, so consider giving your cabinets a makeover rather than replacing them entirely! This not only eliminates material from collecting in the landfill, but it can also save you money!
Change Light Bulbs
For an easy way to save energy in your kitchen, simply switch all of your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs! Energy-efficient bulbs use up to 80% less energy, saving you up to $75 on your electrical bill. In addition to using LED bulbs, consider reducing the amount of energy your light uses by adding a dimmer switch. When possible, leave the kitchen lights off and use the natural light from windows!
Consider an Induction Cooktop
Want to replace your stove? Opt for an induction cooktop! This type of stove reduces cooking time and the amount of energy being used by transferring heat directly to the pan. By installing an induction cooktop in your kitchen, you’ll reduce the amount of heat released in the space, keeping your kitchen cooler!
Invest in a Convection Oven
Make replacing your old oven your next green kitchen project! With a convection oven, you’ll use about 20% less energy than you would with a standard oven. How? A convection oven has a fan that continuously circulates the heated air, reducing cook time and moderating desired temperatures, making this an eco-friendly appliance.
Get an Energy-Efficient Microwave
Another way to reduce the amount of energy used in the kitchen is to replace your microwave with a convection microwave oven! These microwaves are smaller than an oven and therefore use less energy, but they can do some of the same food preparation tasks! By using the microwave to reheat or heat food, you’ll save money and energy in the long run.
Look into Green Coffee Makers
Invest in an eco-friendly coffee maker to make your morning cup of coffee part of your green routine! Look for a machine that uses reusable coffee filters and automatically shuts off. And if you like the convenience of single-serve coffee machines, make sure the pods are recyclable or invest in reusable pods that you can fill with your favorite sustainable coffee!
Check Out Your Cookware
For a simple green update for your kitchen, upgrade all of your cookware with non-toxic, eco-friendly options! Replace your pans, pots, baking sheets with stainless steel, glass, or ceramic ones. These materials are easy to clean, help cook food faster, and don’t have any toxic finishes. When buying new cooking utensils, stay away from items made out of plastic which contain toxic products. Instead, use items made out of recycled materials like wood, metal, bamboo, or silicone!
Replace Conventional Faucets
Upgrading your old faucet with a new motion-sensing faucet! A touchless faucet not only looks good in a remodeled kitchen, but having a sensor will also minimize water waste with automatic shut-off. If you don’t need to replace your faucet, add an aerator, which can save up to 40% of used water!
Go with an Eco-Friendly Refrigerator
Because it’s always running, the refrigerator is one of the most energy-draining appliances in the kitchen. By upgrading to an Energy Star refrigerator, you can save at least $200 on your utility bill. For even more savings, opt for a refrigerator that has either a top or bottom-freezer, which costs less to run than side-by-side models.
Use Less Water with a Sustainable Dishwasher
Energy-efficient dishwashers are a great green upgrade for your kitchen! Installing an Energy Star model will save an average of 3,870 gallons of water. Plus, an eco-friendly dishwasher will cost only about $35 a year, saving you money on your utility bill! Look for a dishwasher that has multiple cycle options so you can choose the best option for the amount of dishes. Also, skip the heated dry cycle and select the air-dry option instead!
Get into a Composting Habit
Looking for easy additions to your kitchen that can help reduce waste? Add a compost bin! Food scraps, eggshells, and biodegradable coffee filters can all be composted. Adding this green option in your kitchen has many benefits, including reducing greenhouse gases, enriching the soil, and keeping food from collecting in landfills. Place your compost bin on the countertop for an easy-to-use spot!
Don’t Forget the Recycling Bin
Help save the environment by adding a spot for recycling in your kitchen! Get a multi-compartment trash can, allowing for trash on one side and recycling on the other. That way, you can easily separate items that can be recycled from the ones that cannot be. Also, be sure to use biodegradable trash bags!
Need a place to store items while working on your kitchen renovation? Extra Space Storage has storage facilities all over the country that can help give you the space you need. Find a storage rental near you!