Top Tips for Designing a Green Kitchen


Though many people believe otherwise, green living doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on style, price or convenience. More and more companies have recently come out with eco-friendly products to suit every taste and budget, making going green easier than ever before. And if you are constructing a new house or planning to remodel your kitchen in the near future, you should definitely talk to experts who can help you understand the process of green designing. In the meantime, have a look at our top tips for designing a green kitchen.

Use green building materials

Planning to redo your countertop? Go for green choices made from reclaimed materials or recycled paper, glass or resin. Quartz is another favorite among green lovers. Bamboo, linoleum and cork are great options if you want to update your kitchen flooring. Make sure that the paints, stains and finishes that you use in your kitchen are eco-friendly and zero-VOC or at least low-VOC. Check out formaldehyde-free MDF if you are in the market for new kitchen cabinets.

You can also try and reuse your old shelves and drawers if they are still in good condition. This will reduce the items that will go into the landfill as part of your remodeling project and also minimize your carbon footprint. Also, shop for as much items as possible, for example, lighting fixtures, scrap wood or decorative tiles, at your nearby salvage yard. You can even make your own dining table from salvaged materials. 

Buy green appliances

Refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, electric cook tops, dishwashers and dozens of other small kitchen appliances – all add up to a large part of the energy consumed in a home.  But you can bring down the energy consumption in your new kitchen by replacing your old kitchen appliances with new energy-efficient models that are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.

Also, while you are out appliance shopping, look for models that utilize lesser energy and lesser water. For example, did you know that side-by-side refrigerator/freezer models consume more electricity than those with the freezer on top? Or that models with water or ice dispensers, though nice to have, are less efficient? Tank less water heaters, which are smaller than regular water heaters, consume lesser energy. Don’t forget to visit the ENERGY.GOV website for some more great tips for choosing green kitchen appliances.

Optimize lighting and ventilation

If you get the chance to do a complete kitchen remodel, try to cut down on lighting costs by bringing in as much natural light as possible. Design your workspaces such that they are closer to windows. Add task lighting with individual controls so that you don’t have to waste electricity by lighting up more space than you need. Also make sure that you replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent ones that consume lesser energy.


Cooking releases a lot of fumes into the air, polluting your kitchen air. Improve your indoor air quality by providing sufficient natural ventilation in your kitchen. Also, talk to your contractor to know the correct range hood size you will need.


Kurt Jacobson is a snowboarding enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 11 times in the past nine years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding the mountain, he writes about all things home related for the website


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