Your kitchen may be one of the parts of your house having the least environmental-friendly features. From the appliances that emit a lot of carbon footprint to the gallons of water that are used in every single day, one can never say that he/she is conserving enough for the environment unless something is being done to eradicate these problems.
Another environmental problem we face is the number of plastics we produce. According to a study, humans produce 335 million tons of plastics per year. Eight million metric tons of these plastics are present in the ocean, and 150 million are currently circulating marine environments.
However, there are ways that you can help in saving the environment. Every single contribution counts and if you like to be a part of it, here are ways you can have an eco-friendly kitchen.
Reduce, reuse, recycle – This might be a cliché for you, but then again, clichés are never going to be clichés if they are not somehow true.
You can recycle using turning plastic bottles into DIY items such as a broomstick and a holder for small items. Although recycling and reusing materials is a big help, reducing is a greater help for the environment and the kitchen. Having fewer plastic items give you more room for storage, and it saves nature as well.
Avoid Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
VOCs are gases that if inhaled, would cause long-term damage to the lungs and other parts of the body. Acetone (found in nail and furniture polish), Butanal (found in stoves), and Benzene (found in paint, glue, and carpeting) are one of the most common VOCs that could be in your kitchen. When buying items, make sure that they contain the least or no amount of these gases to secure your health and safety.
Use energy-efficient items
If you really plan on going green, you should go for buying appliances that are energy efficient. When buying appliances, always check for the Energy Star logo to ensure its quality in saving electricity and its greenhouse emissions. You can also consider buying smart appliances. Not only would you have a contribution to the environment when buying energy-efficient items, expect your costs in electricity to lessen after buying one.
Use wood that regrows fast
When choosing wood for your flooring or counter top, choose wood that grows in a short matter of time than other wood. Bamboo could be a great choice for this since it only takes nine years for it to regrow. Another best choice for woodwork is cork which is made from the bark of a tree. You can also consider buying FSC certified timber.
Have a trash bin for composting
It is a basic when we say that there should be separate garbage bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials. Instead of waiting for the garbage truck to collect your trash, it is more advisable to provide a compost pit in your backyard especially if you want to nourish the soil for planting. Having good soil can be an avenue for harvesting plants or even flowers that you can cultivate.
Use a naturally-made cloth to clean the kitchen
When wiping objects especially spills and utensils, use towels, damp cloths, and rags instead of paper towels. Paper towels are much waste considering the number of trees that must be cut, as well as fuel to use to manufacture these non-reusable items. Meanwhile, cloth towels can be laundered and reused multiple times after one buy. In choosing towels, make sure to choose natural fabrics such as wool or cotton to make sure that there are no harmful chemicals mixed in them.
Have an air vent in your kitchen
If you can have a source of ventilation, costs for air-conditioning could lessen especially knowing the fact that air inside the room may be two to five times more polluted than the outside. Even having large windows that you can open every morning could be a huge help for this (this is for people living in the countryside and the suburbs).
Have small plants in the kitchen
Plants provide air that we need for us to breathe. They are also an effective alternative to detoxify the air in the kitchen than using air sprays and purifiers. Small shrubs and flowers can be grown to pots near windows to have sunlight to add aesthetic value in your space as well.
Having a kitchen that aims to be as eco-friendly as possible is only a small portion to solve the underlying problem of pollution and climate change, but it helps. The next step that should be taken is the maintenance of these habits for a lifetime and most importantly, spreading the word out and influencing others to do the same. Imagine having one heck of environmental home design and its benefits, now imagine your friends and family having the same. This is the way to have a greener future and a prettier kitchen for everyone.