Eco-friendly ways to remodel your kitchen

How can we reinvent the heart of the home whilst keeping green? 

Building an eco-friendly kitchen is both an ethical commitment – and a very fashionable one! The coincidence of the recession and a rise in awareness on climate change has meant that architects and interior designers often work with ‘eco’ as a key buzzword. 

But buzzwords aside, what is the reality of remodelling a kitchen with environmentally friendly concerns at heart? You might be looking at your kitchen floor tiles  and thinking there is no way out – but we’ve been working alongside home decorating expert Wickes to show that this isn’t the case. 

Here are three top tips for an ethical re-make of the home’s busiest room.

1.     Eco-friendly flooring

Under your feet is the best place to start an eco re-model: it allows you to build a foundation for the rest of the room. There are two key materials to choose form when you’re going green: cork or bamboo.

Both are natural, self-sustaining products which do not create landfill or deforestation, as they grow back as they are pruned or cut. Traditional bamboo trees are mature and ready to be harvested after 3-5 years; whereas hardwoods are usually between 20-120 years.

Solid bamboo flooring from Wickes, £19.49 PSM

What is more, bamboo floors are equally hard-wearing and reliable as hardwood (plus very easy to take up – and easy to recycle and compost if you decide to change them).

2.     Induction cooktops

This is not the cheapest option, but if you are a busy household with a lot of cooking to do (especially with kids) then induction cooktops will be a great choice for you, as in the long term they save on your energy usage. They work through magnetism – meaning you will need to invest in special or approved pans for the surface too – and can heat up four times faster than traditional gas cooktop (plus you’re not consuming gas or oil).

3.     Eco-friendly appliances and cabinets

Following on from the induction cooktop, investing in energy-saving kettles and fridges are an excellent idea. Make sure that a fridge is placed in a cool corner of the room away from sunlight so that it doesn’t waste energy fighting the sun’s glare too. Both your old appliances and storage units (if removed carefully and intact) can be donated to charities to be re-used, so make sure that this is also part of your plan.

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