Modern kitchen design has certainly come a long way, and in just a relatively short time. You probably still think of terms like “going green” and “eco-friendly” as mere buzzwords that companies use to try and appear progressive and caring of the environment. But sustainable design and building practice is much more than just some fad. It’s a way to allow people to take care with how they impact the planet, while choosing building designs that are holistic and better for everyone.
Planning Your Design
A lot of people don’t like to think about environmentally friendly design because they think it’s too hard or expensive. All it requires is some careful forethought, but that goes for any building or design project that you want to turn out well. One of the biggest keys to working sustainably is doing things to right way the first time. If you choose to install an eco-friendly kitchen design that you can’t live with, ripping everything out and starting again will defeat the purpose of trying to go green in the first place.
Question Your Designer
People who care about the environment have a reputation for being a little demanding. That’s just because it requires a lot of research and attention to detail if you want to do the right thing. A large part of that is asking the right questions. If you hire a designer or builder, don’t be afraid to ask them questions. If you find yourself working with someone who shies away from giving answers, or someone who just doesn’t have adequate information about the materials and methods they are using, you might want to consider finding another worker.
Toxic Kitchen Products
While being swept up in the look and usability of their new kitchen design, people tend to overlook the harmful substances that might be inside the materials they’re using. The resins that are used as binding in many composite building materials often contain urea formaldehyde. This is not harmless until it begins to release gases into your kitchen, and then it can become seriously harmful to the health of people in the home. These types of materials are used in things like mouldings, counters, shelves, furniture, textiles, and even the floor that you will be walking around on.
Even organic materials can be harmful to your health, so don’t assume that natural is necessarily safe either. Glue, paint, sealant, and finishing materials can all contain volatile organic substances. The best thing you can do to avoid harmful compounds in your new kitchen materials is to look for products with a green label, but that’s just for starters. Don’t be fooled by advertising. Instead, consider what is in the materials you’re going to install right in the heart of your home.
We’ve covered different human-made materials, but you should really consider looking for some high-quality wood. The counters and other panelled areas in your kitchen can be made using some durable, natural wood. There are lots of ways to find wood that’s been harvested in a responsible and sustainable way. You can also re-use wood easily and have it come out looking like new. Don’t assume that modern kitchens should be made with space-age or heavily recycled materials. Wood is still one of the best materials to use in your green kitchen design.