I think I'll throw out some random and useful information about designing green kitchens. These are not in any particular order, but are categorized for easy reference to get one started thinking about incorporating green kitchen design, and overall green principles.
My goal is to keep it simple! Here's why. At this point, (nearly) none of my clients, nor potential clients, are asking questions about designing a green kitchen. They are very busy people, that I know. For many, there is not much time left, with active jobs and families, to become aware of, and accumulate (quickly/easily understandable) knowledge on this issue and how it relates to the kitchen they are thinking about remodeling. Of course, it is important that the "big picture" of sustainable design has a chance to go hand in hand with one's own plans to remodel the kitchen. That's where I come in! Let's take a look at some of these principles which can be easily implemented toward designing green kitchens.
So easy. Two words: Energy Star. Household products are awarded Energy status when they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy. It's making a difference..."Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2006 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 25 million cars — all while saving $14 billion on their utility bills." Quite impressive.
Reducing consumption of our natural resources, thus, conserving water AND energy, merits understanding and knowledge of this issue, even for those who live in areas where the water supply is not an issue...yet. Why conserve water?
Two handy products in the kitchen to help conserve water are: a foot pedal to prevent water from running needlessly and hands-free sensor faucets, also, to use water only when it's needed. Water savings are significant with these products.
Lighting Tips - Take a look, and also take a good look at this great article from Treehugger on How to Green Your Lighting. And, here's a great chart to tell you exactly what to look for, as you transition your lighting from incandescent watts to flourescent lighting. Start with one light and see the difference. Flourescents are not as disappointing as they used to be. LED lights are what you want to look for, for under cabinet lighting.
I think that's enough to get you going in the right direction! Tell me what you know, or what you've learned, I'd love to hear.