By Jamie Goldberg, AKBD, CAPS
Earth Day is fast approaching, so Sensible Style is observing this important April 22nd date with some easy tips on how to make your kitchen more eco-friendly.
When it's time to replace your current dishwasher, look for one that's Energy Star rated, which can reduce the amount of electricity you use. Also look for a model that conserves water, for additional eco power and utility savings. You can save even more water by not rinsing your dishes before you load them. Most of the newer detergents actually work better with food particles to fight. Try it—you'll be surprised!
Asko's XXL 5000 Series Dishwashers offer Energy Star and water savings with oversized capacity.
One of my go-to experts on appliances, Debbie Schaeffer—owner of Mrs. G TV & Appliances in Lawrenceville, NJ, shares this eco-friendly tip: Use your microwave's speed-cook feature instead of running your range for greater energy efficiency. Keeping your kitchen cooler in the summer and getting dinner on the table faster are two more benefits of speed cooking.
A microwave with a speed-cook feature, like this GE Profile Advantium, saves energy and time.
How often do you find yourself running your kitchen tap longer than you need to, either because you left a pot to fill and stepped away from the sink, or because your hands are full and you don't have a third one to turn the faucet off in time? Kids are culprits, too, turning the kitchen faucet on to wash their hands and forgetting to turn it off. A faucet that turns on and off with just a touch—of an elbow or forearm, even, if you can't spare a hand—can be a big water saver.
Put a cork in it
Cork is a great, green flooring option. It's a renewable resource that doesn't sacrifice trees. Some of it is also recycled. One of my favorite cork attributes is its softness underfoot. It looks like wood, but is much easier to stand on for long periods of time.
Eco-friendly cork floors can be formal, as shown in this offering from Globus Cork, or casual.
For more eco-friendly Sensible Style kitchen tips, visit my blog.
(c) 2010, Jamie Goldberg, AKBD, CAPS. Excerpted from Gold Notes: Nuggets from the World of Residential Design. Jamie is an NKBA-certified kitchen designer in San Diego, CA.