9 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Ideas

Give your kitchen a green makeover with these eco-friendly tips.

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Designers and experts share insight on materials, products and designs that are perfect for outfitting an eco-friendly kitchen.

  • Bamboo According to housewares expert Gus Dallas, the latest in environmentally friendly kitchens includes fast-growing bamboo. The material makes great cutting boards and it can also be used for backsplashes and flooring.

  • Scrap wood IKEA kitchen designer Martha Saldumbide says, "Where we can spare the environment, we do. We use a lot of scrap wood. It's the wood that nobody else wants but it's still really good hard wood."
  • Lighting To cut down on lighting costs, try using fluorescents. They cut energy use by 50 percent. Whenever possible, use natural light to brighten up your kitchen and bring down your electrical bill.

  • Thinking about cork for your kitchen floor? Learn how to install it here.

  • Cork This renewable resource is made from the bark off a tree. It's also sound-absorbing, hypoallergenic and resistant to mold and mildew, making it an excellent choice for kitchens.
  • Recycled stone-chipped composite countertops These countertops resemble granite and are just as durable.
  • Top and bottom freezer/refrigerator units These are more energy-efficient than side-by-side models because not as much cold air escapes. Not sure if your fridge can pass the eco-friendly test? Shut the door on a dollar bill — if it slides out easily then it's a sign the seal needs to be replaced.

  • Recyling stations This handy recycling stations pulls out for easy access. Other recyling cabinets are set on wheels so they can be moved wherever needed.
  • Convection ovens This type of oven uses a fan to drive heat rapidly from source to food so it cooks it 25 percent faster than a conventional oven.
  • Natural fabrics Choose cotton or wool for your dining chairs and window dressings since man-made fabrics are made with chemicals that harm the environment.

    bamboo backsplash - Troy Adams Designs
    bamboo cutting boards - Gus Dallas, Ltd.
    portable recycling unit - Bulthaup
    bamboo, cork flooring - Expo Design Center

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