How to Design a Sustainable Kitchen

Luxury kitchen with hardwoods throughout

An ever-increasing number of homeowners are requesting eco-conscious elements in their kitchen designs. Fortunately, green materials and products are available to fit every style and budget. Here’s a roundup of some to consider for your client’s kitchen.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CABINETRY

Cabinets cover a lot of real estate in the kitchen – and they’re usually crafted from wood. To select sustainable cabinets that come from responsibly managed sources, look for those with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. Incorporating reclaimed woods can further mitigate the environmental impact.

As an alternative to wood, you might contemplate bamboo cabinets. Bamboo, which belongs to the grass family, is a rapidly renewable resource that can be harvested every three to five years. Cabinets constructed from laminated bamboo showcase a distinctive linear pattern, perfect for minimal or modern spaces.

KIND-TO-THE-EARTH COUNTERTOPS

The turning-trash-into-treasure movement has a strong foothold in the kitchen-surfaces industry.

Innovators are morphing post-consumer paper and post-industrial scrap into sleek, eco-conscious kitchen countertops. Recycled-glass surfaces are another popular option – where everything from wine bottles to broken traffic lights can combine to create both terrazzo and more uniform looks.  

ECOLOGICAL FLOORING OPTIONS

Cork flooring offers many advantages. First and foremost, the regenerative bark of cork trees is a long-term renewable resource. Pressed-cork floor planks and tiles, formed from scraps left over from bottle-stopper production, add natural tones and textures to a space. The material’s shock-absorbing property is a boon in the kitchen, where standing for long periods is common practice.

Linoleum floors—made from renewable materials such as cork powder and linseed oil—are enjoying a resurgence. The cost-effective option comes in a vast array of colors and motifs.

ENERGY-EFFICIENT APPLIANCES

Thanks to technological advances, energy-efficient appliances protect the environment by lowering power consumption and power-plant emissions. Energy Star certification is the gold standard, so look for it as you select refrigerators, dishwashers, and others. With Energy Star-certified appliances, your client will save money on utility bills without sacrificing performance.

Whether you’re striving for LEED certification or simply want to choose prudently, these eco-friendly kitchen materials and products are worth exploring. A Friedman’s specialist can help meet your client’s sustainability goals.

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