Here’s how to go green and create the energy efficient, eco-friendly space you and the planet deserve

The sustainable movement is well-and-truly underway. If you’re planning a complete kitchen makeover, chances are, you’ve thought about going green. Taking an eco-friendly approach when planning your new kitchen, means making important decisions based on your lifestyle, needs and budget. These decisions aren’t always straight-forward. Some eco-conscious products might use less energy, but cost a whole lot more than standard appliances that perform just as well.

The choices when considering a sustainable kitchen renovation hardly end with selecting efficient products. There are numerous other considerations if you want to go green. But don’t let the eco-friendly world scare you – we’ll guide you through the most important elements – and help you transform your kitchen into a self-sufficient and responsible cooking paradise.

Sustainable Products and Materials

When you sit down to plan out your sustainable kitchen renovation, start off by thinking about the product and materials you’d like to incorporate. Consider the environmental, social and economic impact of your chosen materials – over its whole life cycle, from production to final disposal. Do your research, and the carbon impact of producing your kitchen worktop, for example. It’s important to thing about not only the energy and resources used in its production, but the energy efficiency the product or material when in use.

The simplest way to reduce waste in your new kitchen is to make conscious decisions to scale down – and use space very effectively. That means designing a kitchen tailored perfectly to what you need, and nothing more. Smaller is better. All things considered, it’s a decision that will save you time, money, and ultimately, help the environment.

Consider the environmental, social and economic impact of your chosen materials. © Søren Harder Nielsen © Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

Incorporate design elements in your space that focus on using space efficiently. Opt for drawers rather than cupboards, as they are more space-efficient and help increase storage. Also look at custom corner units to maximise every nook and cranny, and use containers to separate compost, recycling and waste.

Sometimes, being more sustainable simply means taking a fresh look at your old kitchen. After all, the best way to save resources, is using the resources you already have. Maybe your kitchen cabinets are well-configured, but simply need a facelift? Maybe your worktop only needs to be sanded down and resealed in your new sustainable kitchen? Re-using elements from your kitchen will save you money and lower your carbon footprint.

Also look at eco-friendly flooring made of linoleum and cork. Both are made with renewable resources that make them sustainable choices in your new kitchen. The options are endless, and they are durable when treated to periodic maintenance.

Improved Air Quality

Kitchen renovations often have the potential to introduce some pretty nasty chemicals into your home. The products and materials you select will have a big impact on how many potentially harmful substances you bring in. It’s important to know that there are always safer and healthier choices when it comes to selecting your paints and varnishes etc.

Pay careful attention to the board and wood products used in the construction of your kitchen cabinets. Some contain high levels of formaldehyde and others (like plywood) contain much less. Ask your cabinet maker or hardware specialist about the chemicals contained in your purchases.

This striking kitchen space uses huge doors to ensure thorough ventilation ©Bulthaup

Never underestimate the difference a well-ventilated kitchen can make. There are numerous positive health benefits associated with kitchens designed to maximise ventilation, so always consider the placement of windows when laying out your swanky new sustainable kitchen.

Energy and Water Efficiency

Appliances with the highest energy and water performance ratings will ensure that you use energy and water more wisely. Grundig’s EcoChamp products, for example, use solutions that will make your utility bills look a whole lot different. These products are characterised by maximum efficiency and low resource consumption. In fact, EcoChamp kitchen appliances are well known for setting new energy efficiency standards in a variety of product categories.

Refrigerators and dishwashers are the main culprits when it comes to waste in the kitchen, so upgrade these first. Manufacturers are constantly improving technology and insulating techniques.

Grundig’s EcoChamp dishwashers are well known for setting new energy efficiency standards. © Grundig

When it comes to energy efficiency, look at different lighting options too. LED bulbs are super-efficient, and are much more affordable than they used to be. They have an expected lifespan of 10,000 hours over conventional incandescent bulbs, so it’s definitely worth the investment. You can even go for a few coloured options to spruce up your kitchen and set the mood.

Designing a sustainable kitchen isn’t about quick fixes to make your space look new – it’s about making considered decisions to design and build responsibly and create a cooking environment that’s built to last, using as little material as possible. Start the process by taking a look at your appliance options.