The Kitchen Designer

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer, and my mission is to take kitchen design style, function and analysis to a higher level. Here's why the kitchen has the most honored place in the home - all five senses reside in the kitchen.  Best...Susan  Contact: susan@susanserraassociates.com

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Tips For A Green Kitchen

Breaking News! I just received this fantastic list of easy tips to go green in the kitchen. Anyone can get moving on these tips right now. I'm stopping what I'm doing to pass this along to you. Take a look, from the editors of ShopSmart, a publication from those very serious people, Consumer Reports. The folks at ShopSmart took months to find the best energy saving products. Take a look.

  1. Get a water-saver faucet

·         Why: A gleaming new faucet is an easy upgrade, but kitchen models can be water wasters compared with some bathroom faucets. Low-flow bathroom faucets with the Environmental Protection Agency’s new WaterSense label are about 30 percent more efficient.

·         Easy Green Fix: Until the EPA comes up with criteria for low-flow kitchen faucets (they’re in the works), for $3 to $11 you can make most new or existing taps more efficient simply by attaching an aerator.

·         One Possible Draw Back: With lower flow, it might take a bit longer to fill that pasta pot.

·         What to Buy: Two Kohler models that aced ShopSmart’s most recent tests and can be ordered with custom-fit aerators for about $10 are the Vinnata K-690-BX , $550, and the Forte K-10433-VS, $250. Another green choice is a hands-free faucet, like the Danze Parma D421058, $480.

·         Tip: When you find a faucet style you like, make sure it has a lifetime warranty that covers stains and water-wasting leaks.

  1. Switch to watt-stingy lighting

·         Why: Modern kitchens can use up to 2,000 watts for lighting because standard incandescent, halogen, and xenon lights are energy hogs. All that excess heat from lights might prod you to turn down the A/C to cool things off.

·         Easy Green Fix: Switch to cool-burning compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in overhead fixtures, and also consider adding some LED or fluorescentundercabinet task lighting. This easy fix costs about $200 for five fluorescent fixtures.

·         One Possible Draw Back: Some—but not all—CFLs and LEDs cast a bluish or other funky-color light. Before you buy, ask if you can return the fixture if youdon’t like the way the light looks with your décor.

·         What to Buy: Strips are the most common type of task lighting, round “puck” lights are best for casting pools of light onto a counter and linear lights are best if you need more versatile fixtures. Both round “puck” lights and linear lights are available with LEDs.

·         Tip: If your cabinets don’t have a built-in valence to hide task lighting, either add one or choose a fixture with a sleek housing that’s not as noticeable.

  1. Put in a ceiling fan

·         Why: Kitchens get hot, and if you use an air conditioner to cool things off, it will gobble up a lot of energy and money.

·         Easy Green Fix: A ceiling fan in the kitchen will use only a fraction of the electricity that an A/C would.

·         What to Buy: ShopSmart tested models from Hampton Bay, Harbor Breeze, and Hunter, and most performed pretty well in air-movement tests. So rather than shop for a particular brand, go for a style you like and remember that lighting affects energy use.

·         Tip: You might be able to find CFLs designed for ceiling fans that can replace the original bulbs and save energy.

  1. Renovate with recycled stuff

·         Why: A new countertop or cabinet style can change the whole look of your kitchen, but manufacturing them keeps power plants polluting the air and some green goods aren’t as green as they might seem.

·         Easy Green Fix: Before you buy new, see if you can find secondhand products.

·         What to Buy: Salvage shops are stocked with new or gently used stone countertops, hardwood flooring, decorative lumber, and kitchen cabinets, so they’re a great place to look for bargains. Habitat for Humanity sells used and surplus building materials at outlets called ReStores.

·         Tip: If you must have new, look for greener cabinets and other products made from sustainable lumber and materials.

  1. Trade in the biggest energy hogs

·         Why: The appliances in your kitchen that take the most energy to operate are refrigerators and dishwashers. The older these appliances are, the less energy efficient they are and the more costly they are to run.

·         Easy Green Fix: It usually doesn’t pay to replace working appliances with new ones. But when you do update, look for models that use less energy and arequieter. Though energy efficient models can cost more, you’ll recoup the money as your utility bills shrink.

·         What to Buy: ShopSmart found that the Amana AFD 2535DE [W], $1,550, saved up to $72 a year in annual operating costs compared to a 15-year-old fridge and the Bosch SHE33MO [2]UC, $540, saved up to $51 a year compared to a 7-year-old dishwasher.

·         Tip: You don’t have to ditch the clunkers all at once. Start with the least efficient ones. It pays to replace them when repairs would cost more than half the price of a new appliance. 

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Reader Comments (8)

Be aware, if you drop or otherwise break a fluorescent bulb, it is toxic and there are special clean up rules. Don't use your broom or vacuum or you'll have to throw them away.
For the whole procedure:

I use the bulbs in my home, you just have to be aware since they don't tell you this on the packaging.

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

With regards to installing an aerator on your kitchen faucet, one should install aerators on all faucets in the house. When considering your aerators you should consider low flow aerators, typical aerators allow 2.5 gallons or more of water to flow through the aerator. Low flow aerators restrict water as low as .5 gallons per minute without giving up the quality pressure stream you need. These cost aproximately the same and can be found at any local hardware store.

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

She got you too, huh?

October 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Deras, CKD, CID

Here is more info about hampton bay ceiling fans:

Hampton bay ceiling fans are only available at the Home Depot stores. They deliver their ceiling fans with a lifetime warranty. All ceiling fans have a Quick Connect installation system, so you can easily install your ceiling fan.

Hampton bay ceiling fans are excellent quality at a reasonable price! But keep in mind there are pretty much troubles on these affordable ceiling fans.

I suggest you take a look at the link given here... Hampton Bay Fans

December 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMark

these are great tips to help the environment and also save money too - important in the current economic climate i think

January 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdishwashers

Great tips! I got new light bulbs, a new faucet, and in the process of upgrading my appliances.

Thanks :)


February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEco Friendly

Hey guys! I came accross this Acai Berry site and wanted to know if anyone has dealt with it.
This looks too good to be tru for building muscle but I've read testimonials online where people are using Acai Berry for Weightloss methods. If anyone has any tips please feel free to input.

January 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGettingRipped

Great guide! there are a lot great ceiling fans, I personally have a couple of different throughout the house. Personally I am a big fan of Emerson ceiling fans.

October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark

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