Kitchen Capers

Kitchens, in any country, are usually a hub of family and social activity and a source of dining, nutrition and health. In Western countries, kitchens are the most renovated rooms in the house, and can also have the most impact on the environment. When renovating your kitchen, building a new one or just thinking of greening up your kitchen, there’s a number of things to consider to make it more livable, functional, enjoyable, green and eco-friendly.

  • Smaller kitchens are better than big ones. Smaller means more efficient, less building materials, less furnishings and less maintenance
  • Make maximum use of whatever space you do have in your kitchen. Use drawers more than cupboards and shelves if possible – adding drawers to replace a cupboard increases storage space by 30-50%
  • Using less materials means less cost – at least 50% of a kitchen goes into the framework of cupboards and cabinetry
  • If you’re using wood, choose wood from sustainable, managed forests, not virgin forests. Pine and plywood are more than adequate for unseen framework
  • Do some research and check out the many new greener building material and options from some wellknown companies, such as Laminex’s new greener options that are low VOC (volatile organic compounds – bad stuff) and contain no toxic chemicals
  • Think about cleaning and waste options in your kitchen before you build or renovate it, rather than after. There are some great eco-friendly choices out now to make life a lot easier on you and the environment
  • Choosing cheaper, less efficient building materials means having to renovate again sooner than later. Choose long-lasting, sustainable, stronger materials to get the maximum life out of your kitchen
  • When choosing lighting for your kitchen, ‘task lighting’ is more important than style. Use eco-friendly, energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs – a 40W CF bulb will provide more light than several 50W halogens