Eco Friendly Kitchens And Recycling
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A well-designed, attractive kitchen becomes the heart and soul of a home.
However, with the consequential use of l ighting, refrigeration and cooking it can
become responsible for over 40 percent of a home's energy consumption. Add to that
regular kitchen activities like water heating, plus general heating and cooling, and you
begin to get the picture of how energy critical the kitchen really is.
Consideration could be made in the planning and design stage of a kitchen
refurbishment project to improve t he home's energy performance. Broadening the
scope of your project to include energy efficiency, ecological benefits, accessibility
and health considerations will provide long -term cost savings, comfort, peace of mind
Here are some high-impact ideas for creating a "green" kitchen:
Kitchen Recycling Centre
Look for sets of bins that allow you to easily separate rubbish - paper,
food, bottles, plastics, etc; that can be disposed of or recycled in different
- Eco-Friendly Flooring
Products manufactured from renewable forests can provide you with a
beautiful, affordable and durable floor - and an environmentally
responsible choice. Bamboo, cork, and eucalyptus mature in roughly half
the time (or less) that it takes hardwoods, grown in colder climates, to
reach market size. A bamboo area rug is a great idea.
- Stained Concrete or Indigenous Stone Countertops
Use materials that are durable and water -resistant for both worktops and
backsplashes. Stained concrete uses non -toxic, natural pigments rather
than surface-applied stains. There is also the option of adding other
recycled materials into the mixture. Many types of indigenous stone are
available and can come from salvage sources. Make sure they are
adequately sealed to prevent staining.
- Wall Insulation
Nothing improves the comfort and energy efficiency of a kitchen more
than plenty of insulation in the exterior walls. To add insulation to existing
homes, blow fibrous insulation material - fibreglass or natural materials
like cellulose and mineral wool - into enclosed wall, floor and roof
cavities. "Dense packing" the insulation inhibits air circulation within the
cavities, thereby eliminating a major cause of condensation, moisture
problems and air leakage.
- Energy-Efficient Windows, Doors and Skylights
Well-designed windows and skylights can lighten the feel of a kitchen and
save on fuel bills as well. Ensure the products used have low heat emission
glass with solar shading, which increases the room's comfort, protects
items from sun damage and reduces condensation on windo ws.
- Energy-Efficient Task Lighting and Lighting Controls
Maximise natural light and provide task lighting. Lighting controls range
from a simple outdoor light fixture with a built -in photo-sensor to wholeof-
house programmable controls that allow fixture s to perform as task,
safety or mood lighting. The cost of a control can often be offset by the
first year's energy savings.
- Energy-Efficient Appliances
When buying a refrigerator, dishwasher or vent fan for your kitchen
renovation, remember that it wil l have two labels: the price ticket and the
Energy Rating of the appliance. Advanced technology now means that
appliances can use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than standard
- Mould-Resistant Gypsum or Cement Board
Mould growth requires moisture and a food source. To improve moisture
resistance, some gypsum board manufacturers have developed products
with paperless coatings and gypsum cores. To reduce the risk of mould, a
number of manufacturers chemically treat the paper on both sides of t he
gypsum board, while others eliminate the paper entirely and replace it with
a gypsum-cellulose combination. Mould-resistant wall panels help
maintain good indoor air quality while reducing the probability of costly
replacement or remediation.
- Induction Hobs
Induction cooking uses electricity to produce a magnetic field that reacts
with the ferric content in stainless steel, cast iron, and enamelled steel
cookware, exciting the molecules and producing heat. The cookware (and
therefore the food) gets hot , but the stovetop doesn't. Less heat is wasted
and the food heats faster, saving time and energy. Induction cooking is
about 90 percent energy efficient as compared to gas and electric radiant,
which are 50 to 60 percent efficient. Induction cooking is re latively new to
the mass marketplace and currently retails at a premium.