We’re always being told that we have to make our lives more eco-friendly and it’s true because if everyone lived the way we do in the western world there wouldn’t be much world left. So we’ve tried to come up with a few interesting and novel ways to make your kitchen more of a green place to be.
1) Light…light can be expensive (more co2) or it can be free! We like free so get more free light by putting in big windows! Now you can’t call knocking a hole in the wall and putting big windows eco-friendly but if you are planning a remodel your kitchen space try to incorporate methods to bring more light in to your kitchen, especially the areas you use the most. Placing windows near the sink or work surfaces makes being in the kitchen more rewarding or if you won’t have any outward facing walls why not try installing Sun tunnels. We spoke with Birmingham Builder Joe Harte who said that is most situations they can be installed easily with no structural changes required.
2) Fresh air. (We’re really trying to think outside the box on this one). Stale air becomes damp, especially in older homes. Not only is this bad for your health and more so if you suffer from asthma but damp air takes more energy to heat as you need to heat the moisture in the air too. Kitchens (and laundry rooms) can be a source for a lot of damp air from boiling a kettle to washing the dishes (you know how much steam comes out of the dishwasher when it is warm)…so open your doors and throw that stale air out…let fresh air in and save on energy bills too!
3) Redecorate with low or free from VOC paints. This should be an easy one as recent European laws now enforce low levels of VOC’s in our paint so anything you pick up from the shops now will be of a reasonable level. However if you really want to be eco-friendly go for zero voc paints such as those from unearthedpaints. By going zero VOC you’ll not only get the health benefits of not breathing in all the nastiest (organic compounds evaporating from the paint for years after believed to be a source of some allergies) you’ll also lead to less contamination of ground water when paint is disposed.
4) No Eco article would be complete without mentioning the mountain of food we throw away each year. You throw food away right? Well you shouldn’t! Bad person! Composting is almost compulsory in most areas and the slops bucket is often collected alongside your normal household rubbish. If you have a nice garden why not get one of the nice kitchen caddies and then we might stop calling it the slops bucket and recycle more. But what about all the meat and all the things we are told not to put in the bin. Well there are ways of composting those things…you can even compost dairy, bread and bones with the right equipment! Using the Bokashi fermenting system you can compost more of your food at home and as it is both anaerobic and aerobic via a starter culture of microorganisms it can compost in under 2 weeks…now that’s eco-friendly!
5) Ok this one is a bit of a leftfield one…but if you haven’t even built your home, let alone kitchen, consider using structural insulated panels to construct your home. Joe the builder said that sips are commonly used abroad but less so here however they can really cut down on build time (read wages to builders!) and the use of cement which is terrible for the release of co2. They are basically pre-fabricated walls with insulation built in.
Now time to put the kettle on but I must remember to open the door for some fresh air too!