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How to Go Green & Remodel Your Kitchen


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When it comes time for a remodel, many people are also thinking in terms of adding resale value to their house. Even if you don’t intend to sell your home any time soon, any remodeling that you do has value when it does come time. Kitchens are one of the most valuable places to remodel, as well as one of the most popular.

Green Value

Being environmentally friendly is growing in popularity, so making your remodel green can have additional value beyond that of the more attractive appearance. There are a number of ways to do this, ranging from using green materials to adding ways for kitchen appliances to use less energy. Some options are more expensive than others.

Materials

If you are considering changing out the countertops, cabinets or cabinet facing, then the materials that you choose are very important. Granite countertops are one of the most popular options in homes today, but some of them are not very green. If you want granite for your countertops, try to purchase locally-sourced granite that was quarried using modern eco-friendly methods. Consider keeping granite countertops that you already have instead of replacing them.

Another alternative that looks very nice and is very eco-friendly is recycled glass countertops. These contain glass that has been melted down from other recycled items, and come in a number of different appearances. Some even include stone dust within the glass and look at lot like granite countertops but are more eco-friendly.

Cabinet fronts made from bamboo look very nice, and bamboo is an extremely renewable resource because it grows so fast. However, there are many woods that are acceptable so long as they are produced under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines, as well. Not all bamboo is green, either, so look for the FSC label on any cabinet fronts that you purchase.

Cost usually prohibits making the entire cabinets out of solid wood. Composite board is often made with extremely damaging chemicals such as formaldehyde in the glue, but it does use wood chips and dust produced by milling that would otherwise be waste. Several companies are now producing less-toxic versions with different, formaldehyde-free glue formulations, which are eco-friendly. The same glues are used for making greener plywood, as well.

Extent of Remodeling

Many people who cannot afford to replace their entire set of cabinets simply get new fronts for them. This can be a great way to spruce up your kitchen at a much lower price. It is also a very eco-friendly option, since much less waste is created this way. If you wish to remodel but don’t mind the layout of your cabinets, this is the greenest and cheapest option by far.

Appliances

Remodeling sometimes includes new appliances, especially if the timing happens to coincide with the failure of an old one. Energy star certified appliances are a must-have for the ecologically-conscious household, and they will also save you money. Pretty much everything you could want in the kitchen can be found in an energy star certified model these days, so make sure the ones you buy are certified.

Got any Green Tips? Share in the comments below!

BIO: Scott is a freelance writer on a variety of topics including granite countertops and home improvements.  When he is not writing for granitetransformations.com, he is hiking in Upstate New York.

 


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