As we celebrate this year's Earth Day we are reminded of how important it is to think green when designing your new kitchen. There are many aspects to Kitchen design that can be considered when trying to "do better" and in this post we are going to focus on three main areas: reuse, recycle and reduce! Click "read more" to learn more about what each of these mean.
When renovating your kitchen one of the biggest items that could end up in the landfill are your cabinets. Construction and demolition debris is a huge problem. According to the EPA, 600 million tons of C&D debris were generated in the United States in 2018, which is more than twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste. When we start a renovation project with our clients one of the first things we discuss is where the existing cabinetry will be going. Many times the cabinets are repurposed elsewhere in the home for extra storage, whether that's in a laundry room, the garage or the basement. If the client doesn't have use for the existing cabinets inside their home we encourage them to let their family and friends know that they are planning on renovating and they are willing to give away or sell their existing cabinetry. Another option is to donate their cabinets whether that's to a organization that is set up to take such items or to a church or community center that may be looking for these types of donations. This is also something to keep in mind when replacing anything inside your home, whether that's furniture or even just accessories.
Recycling is extremely important. We think of this in two different ways. One way is when we consider our cabinetry manufacturing. The manufacturer of our wood cabinetry takes pride in the fact that they recycle both the water run-off from the non-toxic finishing process as well as the sawdust that's created in the shop. They also use hinges and hardware that are all made of recycled material and are recyclable at the end of it's use.
Our metal cabinetry manufacturer uses all Aluminum and each component of our cabinets is recyclable and our aluminum profiles are extruded from 25% recycled aluminum. Did you know that nearly 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still used today? Talk about sustainable!
Another thing we think of when we talk about recycling and kitchen design is that we include a recycle center in almost every kitchen we design. This keeps the habit of recycling our daily use products top of mind for our clients. It becomes too easy to just toss everything away in the garbage if there isn't an easy way to separate the items.
The main thing that comes to mind for us when we consider the word "reduce" when it comes to kitchen design is reducing the toxic indoor air quality in our clients homes. When renovating a kitchen it is important to be aware of what materials are being used in your construction. For over a decade we have only supplied our clients with non-toxic cabinetry, whether that's our wood cabinetry or our metal. Both are constructed with materials that do not contain any urea-formaldehyde and are both finished with a completely non-toxic process. Formaldehyde and the VOC's generated from toxic solvent finishing can cause a wide range of health issues anywhere from headaches, dizziness, asthma or throat irritation to more chronic issues such as kidney, liver and nervous system damage. It is important to reduce or ideally eliminate the off-gassing of these toxins from your construction for the health of you and your family.
Of course there are many other areas to consider but these were some of the major aspects that can easily be addressed when designing your new kitchen. We wish you a happy Earth Day, today and every day!
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