Designing and creating a sustainable hand made kitchen is increasing in priority for home-owners, but it can be difficult to determine what is green and what has a huge impact on the environment. Gareth of Stonehouse handmade kitchens in Gloucestershire, UK advises a key component of designing an eco-friendly, sustainable kitchen is the materials that are used in its creation. Gareth states that ‘the best green kitchens are built from materials that sustainable and are easily recycled.’ There are several aspects you have to consider when designing an eco-friendly kitchen. Here are some fantastic tips, and questions to ask your kitchen designer to ensure your kitchen is as green as it can be.
How to Choose Eco-Friendly Kitchen Cabinets
Kitchen cabinets are one of the most important design aspects of any kitchen and are one of the biggest areas where an environmental impact can be made. If you want eco-friendly kitchen cabinets, it is very important to consider the wood used in constructing the frames and cabinet doors.
How to Design Sustainable Kitchen Cabinet Frames
Ask your kitchen designer about the wood they use for frames in their kitchen cabinets. The majority of companies use MDF fiberwood as frames for kitchen cabinets. Many people promote MDF as being environmentally friendly as it made from recycled wood. Despite being made from recycled wood MDF is currently an unsustainable wood source as it is held together in the fiberboard by glues that cannot be recycled. This means that any cabinets that are removed made from this material must be placed in a land-fill site instead of being re-purposed. This creates a huge impact on the environment. As such, the use of MDF should be avoided.
Constructing the frames out of a low-cost, timber that is easily sustainable like Tulipwood is a better option for an eco-friendly kitchen. Tulipwood is a great material for a carpenter. Tulipwood also comes from trees that grow quickly in most environments and when remodeling the frames can be recycled easily helping to sustain our forests. Another fantastic alternative is Birch Plywood that can be used in the carcasses and drawer bases of a kitchen. How to Design Environmental Friendly Kitchen Cabinet Doors
When designing the doors for your environmental friendly kitchen cabinet it is best to choose a wood that has a low environmental impact. The best types of wood to choose for eco-friendly kitchen cabinets include maple, cherry, oak, and walnut. All these woods are easy to recycle, bio-degradable, and renewable. They are fantastic choices from a design standpoint too, as they are durable, and high-quality choices for designing a luxury kitchen.
Another important eco-friendly consideration is the finish to use on the kitchen cabinet. Some varnishes and finishes can level the wood non-recyclable due to the toxicity of the paint. An eco-friendly kitchen design will use a natural finish or paints that have a water base and low VOC levels. When designing an environmentally friendly kitchen it is best to make your designer aware of concern for sustainability and recycling. Recyclable Kitchen Cabinets
An easy way to ensure your kitchen cabinets are recyclable is by choosing a design that is easy to disassemble. This will mean it will be less damaged when it is removed from your kitchen and can be reused as a second-hand kitchen. Green kitchen design companies offer rehousing services to lower the environmental impact of remodeling or installing a new kitchen. Ask your kitchen designer about their company’s waste management solutions to ensure your kitchen cabinets do not end up in a land-fill site.
Another important aspect to consider in the creation of an environmentally friendly kitchen is how to incorporate eco-friendly worktops that are stylish. The most sought-after and durable worktops such as granite or quartz have a huge impact on the environment. There are a large number of environmentally friendly alternatives available. Eco worktops by Cosentino is made from a recycled material that has the same feel and durability as granite or quartz worktops. It is compromised from highly sustainable materials such as a mirror, glass, porcelain, earthenware, and vitrified ash.
As outlined in the cabinet door section above there are a large array of sustainable woods that you can also be used as a worktop. The use of easily sustained bamboo is also fantastic for splashboards in some kitchen designs.
Glass worktops and ceramic tiles are entirely recyclable. They can add a stylish finish to a kitchen.
Another popular recyclable and durable product that is trending at the moment is Durat which is made from 30% polyester and recycled plastics. This material is extremely durable and comes in over 70 vibrant colours that can give your kitchen that special finish.
How to Determine if Your Kitchen Designer is Using Sustainable, Recyclable Wood
Sustainable and recyclable wood comes with two important trademarks and labels to look out for. Check that their wood comes with a PEFC or FSC certification. This will tell you the wood comes from a sustainability program where usage has been tracked and accounted for. With this certification, you can ask for Chain of Custody certification that tracks the tree from its source through any production procedures ensuring it is certified stock. Also, make sure that it is made with a non-chemical-based adhesive.