I was going to be starting a whole series of home renovation posts. This was going to be on a house that my mum was buying and I was going to do up for her, in the most sustainable ways that we could. Unfortunately, the survey on that house showed that there were much worse issues with it than we thought. So now it’s a different house that needs a bit less renovation as it’s mostly just cosmetic changes. But one of those changes is a new kitchen, that will most likely involve an extension as well.
To get a head start, I’ve been thinking of and researching ways that we can transform the kitchen with sustainability in mind, and whilst on a budget. These are the top three eco-friendly ways to refurbish the kitchen that I’m going to focus on:
As lovely as new things are, there’s no point in replacing appliances just for the sake of it as that would be incredibly wasteful, but if yours are particularly old then it’s probably worth upgrading as new appliances are more environmentally friendly, so can help to save money on water and energy bills. My mum’s dishwasher broke over a year ago and she’s been doing the dishes by hand since with the thought of getting a new dishwasher when she finally moves house! She’s also complained about her oven since she got it several years ago as it was cheap and doesn’t cook food very well, so there may be a new oven on the cards as well.
I was recently contacted by Grundig, who are sponsoring this post, and I’m really pleased to discover that they have such a great ethos. I can’t say I’ve associated sustainability with an appliance brand before so it’s great to be shown that this isn’t true!
Grundig is a German brand that was known in the 1970s and ’80s for consumer electronic products. They launched their home appliances in the UK in 2013 exclusively through Currys PC World. Their core focuses are on style, quality, sophistication and mindfulness.
Grundig also has a global partnership with Food for Soul which they call Respect Food. Food for Soul is a non-profit organisation founded by chef Massimo Bottura. It promotes social awareness about food wastage and hunger through a variety of initiatives, collaborating with chefs, artisans, food suppliers, artists, designers and institutions. Massimo Bottura is also Grundig’s official brand ambassador.
When you’re looking for energy-efficient appliances, you want to find those that have an A++ rating, which most Grundig appliances have. They also come with a 5 year guarantee which is always a good sign.
Some of the other benefits of their products include self-cleaning ovens (the dream, right?), speed oven with the ability to cook food 50% faster than standard ovens, induction hobs with flexi-zones which save energy and help cook more precisely, washer/dryers with a tub made partly from recycled plastic bottles and dishwashers with an inverter eco motor which is quieter, more energy-efficient and comes with a 10 year guarantee! On top of all that, they also look pretty darn stylish, don’t you think?
This could be quite a long section so I’m simplifying it in the table below, which I’m going to be referring back to when we’re making purchases! The most obvious way to keep materials sustainable is to reuse as much as you can from what you already have, or from what other people have, rather than getting new. When you do need to buy new materials, look for locally produced items that will have a lower carbon footprint.
|Cabinets||Formaldehyde-free woods, solid wood, recycled wood, reclaimed wood, FSC-certified wood, bamboo|
|Paint||VOC-free paint. Brands include Earthborn, Auro, Farrow & Ball, Little Greene, Edward Bulmer|
|Flooring||Renewable options include; bamboo, cork, natural linoleum, sustainable woods. Adhesives should be checked for VOC’s|
|Windows||Ideally A rated, low-E coating on the inside to keep warmth in, sustainably sourced timber frames are ideal|
|Countertop||Wood is easily available in sustainable options, cheap and recyclable. Recycled glass, poured concrete|
|Tiles||Porcelain is very long lasting, locally made imitation stone has a much lower carbon footprint, recycled materials can be use, Keracoll solvent free grout|
Whilst researching these materials, I kept coming across Mike Wye Associates so definitely check them out!
This applies to a few areas, reducing, reusing and recycling is always to best way to prevent waste. Here are a few things to think about doing to reduce waste in a kitchen refurb:
- Installing a tap aerator
- Use LED lighting to increase lighting life-span
- Having easy to use recycling bins
- Creating a space to grow fresh herbs
- Being sure to take accurate measurements so materials aren’t over-ordered and wasted
Let me know if you have any other suggestions for reducing waste or renovating in sustainable ways. I think choosing materials and focusing on energy efficiency are the top eco-friendly ways to refurbish your kitchen.
For more ideas on living a greener life, have a read of my last post – Simple Ways to Make Your Working Life Greener
This post was sponsored by Grundig but all opinions are my own.