The kitchen is the heart of the house, a space where you prepare nutritious food, to keep your loved ones in a good shape. A kitchen that aids in cooking these delectable and healthy meals ought to be hale and hearty, doesn’t it? Well, most of the times it isn’t. Let me introduce you to a few ways by which you can green your kitchen with sustainable finishes and practice.
Green Kitchen Ideas- Choosing Sustainable Materials
Image Via: Photo By Eric Ferguson, Carpentry By Black& Sons Furniture Makers
The Right Countertops
Countertops take a major brunt of cooking. Be it cutting and chopping vegetables or just keeping washed vegetables on them, countertops are sure to come in very close contact with the food you eat in one way or the other. Hence, it becomes very important that the countertop comes from an environment friendly source. Granite, a favorite with homeowners, is known to emit radon and certain cement bases that hold in terrazzo or recycled glass are not very health friendly too. When going the eco-friendly way remember to make queries about the adhesives involved in counter installation and avoid the ones with a formaldehyde base. Consider options that are easy to clean and maintenance free. Non-toxic, formaldehyde free composite boards made out of sunflower seeds and wheat can be a good choice. Bamboo, recycled wood, Paperstone, bio-glass and stainless steel are some great alternatives that are low on maintenance and sustainable in nature.
Image Via: Brennan+Company Architects
Green Cabinets Ideas
Kitchen cabinetry is usually composed of particle boards, MDF boards or ply, all of them being rich in formaldehyde based adhesives which gives out very subtle vapors of formaldehyde. These fumes usually die down in an year or two. So, in case you plan to redo your kitchen cabinetry, try and use the same wood as it is now free of toxic smell. The cabinets can in fact be brought to life using a coat of paint and they will be as good as new. Reclaimed wood cabinetry is one of the most environment friendly alternative you can use. When going in for new cabinetry try using materials that have non formaldehyde adhesives. As far as the paints and stains go, using VOC free ones or completely non VOC ones.
Image Via: New Woodworks Fine Woodworking
Environmentally Friendly Flooring
Flooring takes a lot of rough usage with us constantly walking and kids running all the time. The good news is that there are eco friendly options that can take a lot of misuse and look equally pretty. Yes you guessed it right, I am talking about cork flooring. Cork, available in many colors and designs is a perfect flooring choice for kitchens as it is environment friendly, does not emit anything toxic, is super comfy to walk on and is rather gorgeous to look at. Bamboo flooring too can be a great choice if it does not use formaldehyde based glues. Natural Linoleum, is another eco friendly alternatively.
Image Via: RoehrSchmitt Architecture
Cooking Green: Containers & Utensils
Finally its your pots and pans that you cook your meal in, your stove that lights the flame, your chopping board that aids cutting and your containers that store food. So how can these be ignored!
Image Via: Ecofriend
It would be wise to stop using plastic, be it for storing or heating food. Shift to glass or ceramic containers instead, since these are BPA free. Your non stick cookware, though allows minimum usage of oil, still contains PTFE and PFOA which can be potentially harmful for your health. Try using stainless steel and iron cookware. If using non-stick cookware, cook on low heat as low heat releases less toxic substances. Also hand wash your nonstick cookware avoiding any scratches or scrapes on the surface. Once your nonstick has scratches and scrapes you should discard it. Switch to wooden chopping boards in your kitchen and do not forget to disinfect them with vinegar and hot water after use.
When using gas stoves, ensure a blue flame while cooking and ascertain that your chimney vent opens in the outdoors.
Instead of switching to chemicals for cleaning your kitchen, try your grandma’s tips and tricks. A vinegar and water spray is a very effective cleaning agent and can be used to remove even hardened stains. Lemon juice works well against grease and tarnish and a salt water mix can do wonders too.
Image via: Homes
Choosing to go green is a healthier way of living. Recyclable and repurposed items can come to great use and produce very nice aesthetics too. So when you decide to revamp your old kitchen or make a new one, ensuring a few things as small as better ways to cook and store and bigger things like chemical free permanent kitchen fixtures will go a long way to enhance your families health.
It would be great to hear from you, how you have adopted a greener lifestyle in your kitchen.
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