In today’s economy, going green is no longer a choice for many homeowners. Nobody wants to pay utility bills any more than they have to. Fortunately, there are ways to take action without exhausting yourself or your wallet. Here are a few tips to keep in mind in the kitchen, but don’t be afraid to get creative in your other rooms!
- Consider recycling or reusing your old hardware, cabinets, and plumbing in new ways. Store what you remove instead of destroying or getting rid of it, as you might find yourself using it in a future project.
- Make sure to choose Energy Star products for things like refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances. Avoid choosing items with features you don’t need and won’t use.
- Use insulated glass for your windows to retain more heat.
- Install cabinets or drawers specifically designed for removable recycling bins. You’re in control – make recycling easy for yourself!
- Get a built-in water purifier. Instead of the faucet attachment, spring for a built-in under the counter purifier. It’ll help you by conserving more water and filtering better, removing pesticides, metals, bacteria, and more.
- Put in more windows if possible to maximize natural lighting. Add planters for vegetables or herbs. Tomatoes are pretty easy to grow, and it’s always nice to have fresh herbs like basil or thyme to spice meals up. If you have enough space for bigger crops, you can harvest what you don’t use to store for the future or share with your friends and family. If you want to get serious about gardening, think about starting a full garden outdoors or even building a personal greenhouse.
- Install hooks in strategic locations for ladles, spatulas, and other hard-to-store utensils as well as keys, jackets, and other items that inevitably turn into clutter. Don’t forget to make sure your wall can handle the weight.
- Design custom shelves based on what you need to store.
Not remodeling? Take advantage of the following methods until you decide it’s time to remodel.
- Eliminate appliances that you never use to free up counter space. Waffle irons are a nice idea, but who has the time for that kind of breakfast every day?
- Plug appliances into power strips that you switch off (or unplug) at night.
- Switch all your old-school incandescent light bulbs to CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) to save electricity, energy and trips to the hardware store, as they have a lifespan 8-15 times longer.
- Save your leftovers and cut down on the amount of electricity, energy and time spent cooking. Wash and reuse plastic containers from your groceries, like plastic beverage bottles or tubs of butter or yogurt. These are great for packing individual lunch entrees.
- If your existing windows get lots of sunlight, grow vegetables or herbs in pots on your windowsill.