If you have been living in your home for a few years, it might be time for a kitchen remodel. Even a minor remodel has an return on investment of 82.7%, but the impact of your renovations can be more than just financial.
By updating your kitchen, you can also help the environment.
While you might not realize it, your everyday kitchen habits and equipment can add up, making your home much less sustainable than it could be. Fortunately, there are creative ways to make your kitchen a more eco-friendly place. These seven easy steps represent one simple path you can take.
Step 1: Choose high quality materials.
Even though it will cost you more up front, choosing better building materials and kitchen equipment will make them last longer. This means that you won’t be throwing them out to replace them. As long as you take care of your tools, appliances, and surfaces, they should be able to last.
Step 2: Purchase energy efficient appliances.
This is a simple switch you can make during your remodel. Today’s appliances are more efficient than ever before, so consider buying the latest models. As with the above point, be sure that you practice regular maintenance of your appliances to help them last as long as possible.
Step 3: Learn how to compost.
If you don’t compost already, now is the time to start. By eliminating organic material from your trash output, you will cut down on waste significantly. Look into your local composting programs, purchase a composter, or start a compost pit in the backyard to get started.
Step 4: Buy local produce.
The power of buying local can’t be overemphasized. By doing so, you are supporting local agriculture and keeping your money within your community. To take a hyper-local approach, try starting a vegetable garden in your backyard or neighborhood. Eating something you grew is gratifying.
Step 5: Ditch plastic bags.
When you head to the grocery store or farmer’s market, remember to bring reusable bags. If you minimize your plastic use, you then keep plastic out of land fills and the surrounding environment. Keep your bags in your car so you don’t forget them when you leave the house.
Step 6: Use chemical-free cleaning products.
By making your own cleaning products, you can keep your kitchen clean and chemical-free. This will prevent chemicals from getting into your food and harming your loved ones.
Step 7: Minimize waste.
Once your remodel is complete and you make the above changes, think about how you can reduce waste while enjoying your new kitchen. For example, buying in bulk, only purchasing the food you need, and using reusable containers are just some of the ways you can do this.
Homeowners are remodeling more and prioritizing sustainability in these changes. A Harvard University study found that homeowners spent an average of $310 billion on remodels and repairs in 2016, up 8.6% from the year before. If you are among these homeowners, consider how you can make changes for the better. The environment will thank you for it.