Eco-friendly homes are all the rage right now, with many consumers attempting to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle long-term. Helping the planet is about more than just recycling and refusing to buy single-use plastics, and those taking it seriously have already started incorporating environmentally conscious practices into their home design and buying choices.
Here, we discuss several ways in which to make a kitchen more eco-friendly.
Responsible shopping habits
Purchasing kitchenware and furniture in materials such as wood and stone can prove to be a far more eco-friendly alternative over plastic, and is actually just as robust and long-lasting. Natural materials make a home have a lovely, rustic feel and can work perfectly for flooring, kitchen countertops and furniture.
When designing a new kitchen or renovating an existing one, it is important to keep sustainability in mind. Purchasing from a local retailer not only allows you to support the small high street stores, but also means you will be reducing your carbon footprint. There are plenty of independent UK and London kitchens specialists out there, many of which focus on maximising eco-friendliness.
Kitting out the home certainly does not come cheap, and many of us will actively purchase low-priced furniture, knowing full well it is not likely to stand the test of time. Unfortunately, this is what is known as a “false economy”, and the cost spent replacing poor quality items throughout the years tends to offset the initial expenditure we could have used to purchase durable, high-quality pieces that last for many years, if not decades. Replacing furniture every few years is simply not sustainable or cost-effective, so be sure to think carefully about the materials, brand and quality you are choosing when buying furniture.
Alternatively, there are plenty of second-hand auction sites and car boot sales in which people are selling their unwanted furniture for a small fee (and sometimes completely free!), many of which are still in excellent condition. This helps keep the pieces in rotation for as long as they are fit, preventing them from ending up in a landfill.
Energy efficient appliances
Appliances with energy efficiency built-in are becoming more and more prevalent, as savvy consumers seek to lower their energy bills and go greener at the same time. There are plenty of models on the market that meet this growing demand, such as cookers with low-heat settings, ECO kettles and energy efficient washing machines. Before making any purchase, simply take a look at the appliance’s energy star rating, which indicates how environmentally-friendly it is.
The Energy Saving Trust notes that around £30 per year on average is wasted by households leaving their appliances on standby mode. As such, turning off appliances when not in use helps both the planet and your wallet!
Changing our habits
Making small, positive changes to the way we live can steadily impact the earth around us. Beyond buying choices, there are several things we can all do to make the home more eco-friendly:
- Bulk cook and plan ahead to save on food and packaging waste, as well as reducing carbon footprint from travelling to and from the supermarket via car.
- Use glass containers over plastic, which is much harder to recycle.
- Purchase from local, independent shops or food markets.
- Have a separate recycling bin and educate other people living with you on which materials belong in which bins.