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Unless you live on nothing but snack food and takeout, the kitchen is one of the most important parts of any modern home. For many homeowners, sustainability is becoming a major factor for kitchen design in New Jersey and NYC.
When planning for kitchen renovations, it’s becoming more and more common to design a kitchen in ways that feature sustainable materials and renewable energy, reducing your carbon footprint. Home energy usage makes up about 19% of a an average American family’s total environmental impact, and a great deal of this energy is used in the kitchen.
At All 1 Kitchen, we can work with you to create sustainable kitchen designs that incorporate low-flow plumbing, efficient appliances, and eco-friendly materials for cabinetry and countertops. For a free consultation and cost estimate, call us any time at 201-731-5146.
Designing for Sustainability
Sustainability starts with planning. As experts in kitchen design in NJ & NYC, we routinely work with ecologically conscious homeowners to combine practical functionality, aesthetic appeal, and sustainable design. Here are a few tips and ideas for planning a sustainable kitchen remodel:
- Size matters. A small kitchen could be a blessing in disguise. Small kitchen design makes sustainability simpler, since you’ll need fewer building materials and less energy for heating and cooling. Although limited square footage can be a challenge, a well designed layout can make the most of cabinetry and countertops.
- Design a kitchen that’s built to last. Any construction project requires energy and resources, and it isn’t sustainable to renovate and remodel too often. We recommend kitchen design that takes your home’s future into account. What will you need in five or ten years? Will your kitchen look woefully dated in a decade? Going for a classic style, rather than hopping on the latest kitchen design fads, can help you avoid near-future remodeling.
- Make use of natural lighting and ventilation. Heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and electric lighting all use energy. Designing a kitchen layout that takes advantage of available natural light and natural ventilation can help you reduce your carbon footprint, as well as save money on energy costs. Windows, skylights, and ample open space are good design choices to reduce energy usage.
- Grow herbs or vegetables indoors with composted kitchen scraps. In a kitchen with plenty of natural light, indoor planters and window boxes can be used to grow your own ingredients– even in the urban heart of NYC. You can even use kitchen scraps as compost. Composting prevents an estimated 140 pounds of waste per person from ending up in a landfill, where its decomposition generates methane, a greenhouse gas.
- Plan for food preservation and storage. Sustainable ingredients, like local produce, don’t have preservatives and don’t always keep as long as their mass-market counterparts. Extra freezers, food dehydrators, and other equipment can help you preserve organic ingredients for as long as possible.
- Build with environmentally friendly materials. The next step is choosing the right materials for kitchen cabinet installation, countertops, and other elements. Natural stone is often mined in ways that harm the surrounding environment, and other materials like concrete, recycled paper, and recycled glass can be a better choice. For kitchen cabinets, the Environmental Stewardship Program certification can help you find manufacturers that use recycled materials and minimize emissions. You may also want to consider custom kitchen cabinets that are crafted by local builders, using sustainable materials.
- Purchase energy efficient appliances. The EPA estimates that the average American household can save over $100 a year in energy costs, just by replacing a refrigerator made before 1992 with a newer, more efficient model. Energy Star ratings can help you select efficient refrigerators, stoves, and other appliances. The most efficient appliances usually come with a higher price tag, but this initial expense is offset by long-term energy savings.
Local Contractors in New Jersey for Green Kitchen Design
If you’re planning on going green in your kitchen renovation project, call us any time at All 1 Kitchen for a free consultation and cost estimate. From kitchen design services to new kitchen cabinet installation, we’re local NJ and NYC kitchen experts based in Bergen County. Call today at 201-731-5146.