Cooking Green in the Kitchen
Incorporating environmentally friendly building products and practices into your kitchen will give you a recipe for a greener kitchen. What shade of green would you like to cook? Are you a deep green and looking to achieve a gold rating set by standards of the National Green Building Program (NAHB) through new construction? Are you a light green by working on a remodel and incorporating some green practices? Whatever shade of green you desire it will provide you with long-term energy saving, demonstrated return on investment and environmental and health benefits.
Appliances – select ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances (overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). Some manufacturers offer an alarm on refrigerators to alert you when the door is left open. Energy efficient appliances cost less to operate. Also look for ENERGY STAR® water-conserving appliances – dishwashers and washing machines. When possible vent your kitchen range exhaust to the outside to reduce pollutants and improve the indoor air quality.
Cabinets – select cabinets that use “certified” wood and wood-based materials and products from third party-certified sources. Look for no added urea-formaldehyde plywood and particle board, ultra-low VOC (volatile organic compounds) water-based finishes and low-VOC sealants. Incorporate a cabinet with waste bins for a recycling center. Cabinets are available with single or even three waste bins for the extreme recycler. Environmental Programs and certifications to look for when choosing cabinetry:
· Environmental Stewardship Program certification (ESP)
· Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA)
· Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
· Composite Panel Associations’ Environmentally Preferable Product Downstream Program (EPP)
Countertops– select recycled content building materials. There are many choices today of counter tops that are made from 100% recycled glass and cement which are very durable. Choosing a light colored countertop can help brighten a kitchen and open the opportunity for lights to be ran on dimmer switches which conserve energy. Environmental Programs and certifications to look for when choosing countertops:
· GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI)
· Scientific Certification Systems (SCS)
· Cradle to Cradle Certification
· National Science Foundation (NSF)
The Key Ingredient is to look for trusted certifications. This is the best way for manufacturers to demonstrate their commitment to being green. Also look for members of the U.S. Green Building Council.
KITCHEN VISION OF LAKE NORMAN
5214 Slanting Bridge Road
Denver, N.C. 28037
“Let us bring your vision home.”