By Jane Blanchard
Creating a more energy-efficient home can go way beyond the conventional ideas like light bulbs, Energy Star appliances, and tankless water heaters. Needless to say, you've already mastered going green in these aspects, and you're ready to take it to the next level by also achieving an ambiance of luxury and taste. Delight yourself with our super-green, energy-efficient ideas for your kitchen and step up for the challenge.
You can hear your money going down the drain as you cut onions waiting for the pan to heat up. Energy-efficient minded people are quickly catching induction fever. This new technology allows for electrical currents to create a sort of magnetic field that gets iron molecules all excited to heat up in an instant. Induction is super fast, has a modern and contemporary look, easy to clean, and you'll save some serious cash since you're shaving off tons of cooking time. For the green eye: note the fabulous, renewable bamboo flooring.
Install a smart water monitor that alerts you when it detects a leak. Why? If you want to conserve water and money, you'll know that most of the time, leaks go unnoticed, and you're left with a huge bill and repairs. Secondly, energy-efficient faucets are the remote controls for the kitchen. With pull-out wands, pause buttons, and multi-flow features, all you should be seeing in that overnight-soaking pot is a pool of cash. By the way, those are green, bamboo cabinets with no harmful VOC's in the stain and matte finish.
The kitchen is a polyglot of appliances that need either gas or electricity to run. This can dramatically increase the energy bill because they're always on, and 75 percent of appliance energy-use is generated while they're not being used. Not to mention that 1.3 billion dollars is wasted on unused electrical appliances a year. With a smart standby device, you can automatically have appliances taken off stand-by status with the flip of a switch, touch of a button, or even with your smart phone. No more accidentally leaving the oven on which is akin to burning your George Washingtons, blasphemy.
Non-formaldehyde bamboo and cork are the crème de la crème for natural, green flooring. Easily renewable, anti-microbial, insulating, bio-based, and non-toxic, it makes for a beautiful, luxurious, green floor. Painting walls can be done the green way too. To give your kitchen some state-of-the-art color, natural paints made with milk or casein decrease the risks of dizziness, nerve damage, and toxic emissions produced with conventional paint. You'll also find that adding some real, live plants doesn't have to be a "hippy" thing. You can still pull off a high-end look with adding some splashes of green here-and-there to improve air quality, neutralize odors with natural scents, and to filter out toxins.
Although not part of the kitchen, this was too cool to not mention. Spray-on solar cells can be applied to any flexible surface, and it's going to change the way the world looks at solar power. On-going studies are proving that they're no less energy-efficient than the conventional solar panels. Also solar roofing shingles are another step towards being green without compromising on durability, functionality, and aesthetics.
The workhorse of the house sets the trend. If you can succeed in creating a green, energy-efficient kitchen, the rest of your home will catch on. Because it's contagious, we say, "get afflicted."
For more kitchen ideas as well as other home inspiration visit Modernize.