The Growing Demand and Realization of Sustainable Kitchens – E/The Environmental Magazine

A kitchen remodel can increase the value of your home, which is why experts say that a remodel can bring a 69% return on the cost of the project.

People love big open kitchens, but they’re also gravitating towards sustainability. It’s not just about the appliances, either. Sustainable kitchens have materials and lighting that works for form, function, and sustainability.

Before you jump into your next kitchen project, you’ll want to keep reading. Find out what the sustainable kitchen trends are, and how you can plan your perfect kitchen remodel.

Demand for Sustainable Kitchens

Over the past 10 years or so, there has been a slow build of awareness of climate change. Storms are getting stronger, fire seasons last longer and do more damage, and people are starting to realize the effect of climate change.

Consumers still want to consume and buy things. After all, that’s what keeps the economy going. They don’t want to contribute to climate change, so they demand sustainable products.

This demand for sustainability extends from fashion clothing to autos. The demand also reaches the kitchen.

Think about the waste that happens in the kitchen. Food waste accounts for anywhere between 30%-40% of the food supply. There is also a big drain on the water supply to wash dishes and keep a steady stream of ice in the freezer.

Plastic and disposable wipes are used for cleaning and putting food away. These simple tasks can add up when you multiply them by millions of Americans.

Sustainable Kitchen Trends

As you design your kitchen, you want it to be practical. There needs to be enough room for people to move around. The design should also reflect your personal style. These sustainable kitchen trends will give you ideas and inspiration as you move forward with your project.

Minimalism

A minimalist look may seem counterintuitive because you have so many kitchen tools that you use. Where will you put the coffee maker? Where will you put the blender?

Relax, that’s really not what minimalism is about. Minimalism is about simplicity. The minimalist design features distinct lines and spaces that are completely free of clutter and stuff. Cabinet spaces are utilized to make sure you can maximize storage space.

If you’re a person that likes to fill up empty space with stuff, this design trend might not be for you.

Colorful Stoves

A trend that is gaining traction is the use of color in the kitchen. Kitchens are no longer stuck with neutral colors. A sustainable kitchen can be bright and bold.

For example, a kitchen can have a set of dark counters and white cabinets. The stove can be a bright, bold color, like yellow or orange. Combine that with a minimalist design and you have a modernized mid-century modern kitchen.

Smart Appliances

Connected homes are all the rage right now. That connectedness extends to your kitchen. You’ll have more control over your appliances and the resources they use.

These appliances do use electricity, but they can also save resources. You’ll need to balance that and decide what is the best option for your kitchen.

Natural Light

Who doesn’t love a kitchen with plenty of natural light? Natural light can be a wonderful thing to have, especially when you’re looking at options to cut down on energy costs. It can provide plenty of warmth during the winter and cut down on heating costs.

Natural light also improves your mood and it can lead to better choices while you’re in the kitchen reaching for a snack. Studies in restaurants show that people make healthy food choices in brightly lit places. The same applies to your home.

Sustainable Kitchen Products

Your cabinets, floors, countertops, and appliances can all be sustainably sourced. That doesn’t mean much if you still use plastic for everything else in your kitchen.

To have a completely sustainable kitchen, you’ll need to find sustainable products such as storage products and pots and pans. You’re likely to use plastic wrap and food bags. This post on sustainable food bags shows you how you can go plastic-free.

You’ll also want to have reusable bags for grocery shopping and produce instead of plastic bags.

How to Design Your Kitchen

What does it take to make your kitchen sustainable? You have to start with a plan.

Take a look at your kitchen as it is right now. Walk through it and think about how you use it. What would you change about the design? What are the products that aren’t sustainably sourced or not energy efficient?

Make a note of these things and prioritize what the most important items are on the list.

You’ll need to create a budget for your sustainable kitchen renovation. You might not have a budget for all of the items on your wish list, which is why you need to prioritize.

Price out the cabinets, appliances, contracting work, flooring, and permits. You’ll need to have room in the budget in case something goes wrong on the job.

If you’re doing a complete renovation of your kitchen, you need to bring in the professionals. It’s a great move to hire a professional designer to help you bring your vision to reality. They’re also up to speed on the latest sustainable kitchen products.

A renovation contractor will be necessary because you’ll need a professional to perform electrical work. The contractor will know what permits are required and ensure your project is up to code.

Creating a Sustainable Kitchen You Love

The kitchen is often the centerpiece of the home. It’s the place where people end up when you host a get together. The kitchen can also reflect your values and personality.

Sustainable kitchens are in demand because more people recognize that there are little things that we can do to protect the environment. Making simple choices like installing energy-efficient products or using sustainable food bags can make an impact over time.

For more environmental resources, click on the Green Guides tab at the top of this page.