The latest trend in kitchen design: Green
Yes, that’s right – green! Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you go out and order cabinets and wall tiles in avocado – although a pale shade of aqua could work nicely. No, we’re talking eco-friendly green. With concern about the welfare of the planet at an all-time high, more and more people are looking for eco-friendly choices for their homes, particularly for a big project like fitting a kitchen. So how do you go about creating a green kitchen?
One of the best things you can do is to buy a kitchen built to last. A premium quality kitchen will still work well and look fabulous after many years of service. Products and mechanisms are rigorously tested to make sure they can withstand years of wear and tear. More basic kitchens made from inferior materials tend to need replacing a lot sooner – leading to more waste going to landfill. This can be true for appliances too – generally it’s good to buy the best you can afford for durability. Warranties can be a good indicator – if the manufacturer offers a longer warranty period it’s an encouraging sign that they expect your product to be functioning properly without repairs for longer.
Look for materials which have low environmental impact. Wood is an obvious choice – look for sustainably sources options, or even reclaimed such as oak or fir wood cut from old timber beams. Stainless steel is another material to consider for your eco-friendly kitchen. It’s 100% recyclable, and the quality does not degrade with recycling. Most stainless steel manufactured today contains some recycled steel.
Manufacturers are working on developing new products to meet the demand for a more eco-friendly kitchens. Paperstone® is a remarkable material – with the solid feel of stone but the warmth of wood. It’s made from a blend of recycled paper and environment-friendly resin, and it can be used for cabinet fronts as well as for worktops. Or take a look at Consentino’s Dekton worktop range which includes products made from recycled materials.
If you need to paint walls in your kitchen, find an eco-friendly option which won’t release harmful fumes into your home. Look for paints with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – it’s always shown on the back of the tin. There are lots of specialist eco paint brands to choose from, such as Lakeland Paints, Graphenstone and Earthborn Paints. Even the more traditional brands such as Farrow and Ball have now made all their paints water-based and their pigments are responsibly sourced too.
This encompasses everything from appliances to light bulbs. There has been pressure on manufacturers to improve the efficiency of kitchen appliances in recent years. Mandatory efficiency labelling makes it easy to identify the best appliances to choose from. Look for the A+ rating as a minimum – some appliances are now rated A+++. You won’t just be saving the planet – you can save money too. It costs far more per year to run a 15 year old fridge freezer than to run a new one. Choose LED lighting rather than conventional and you have further opportunities for saving money and energy.
Remember to plan for an environment-friendly lifestyle too. Built-in recycling bins just where you need them make it easier to do the right thing. A hot water tap means you heat just the right amount of water. And don’t forget the little touches, such as eco-friendly cleaning products and cloths made from sustainable materials such as bamboo.
For more ideas on how to create an eco-friendly kitchen, speak to one of our expert designers at Schwarz Kitchens. Our showrooms in Brighton, Eastbourne and Haywards Heath are open 7 days a week – so call in at your convenience.
Schwarz Kitchens Haywards Heath
100 South Road
Telephone: 01444 685508
Schwarz Kitchens is a trading style of Palookaville Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN 844709. Registered address: c/o Hartley Fowler, 19 New Road, Brighton, BN1 1EY