While going green may have seemed like a passing fad at one point, it’s now a full-fledged way of life for many Americans. In fact, families across the nation are willing to take on some pretty extensive renovations and major life changes in order to protect the planet. But the truth is that you can make your home more eco-friendly by starting small. In your kitchen, for example, there are plenty of ways to embrace green building products and make small shifts in your routine that can go a long way in helping Mother Earth. Here are three ideas to start with.
- Upgrade Your Floors: These days, there are plenty of options if sustainability is high on your priority list. Environmentally friendly flooring is more plentiful and affordable than ever, which means there’s no reason not to have it in every room. Although the kitchen does present some challenges — like a lot of foot traffic and the presence of water, on occasion — you don’t have to sacrifice your environmental footprint for a functional floor. Popular eco friendly flooring options include engineered wood or eco friendly wood floors (make sure they’re FSC-certified!), marmoleum flooring, concrete, terrazzo tile, cork, and salvaged materials. To ensure your eco friendly flooring options are truly good for the planet, make sure to steer away from any sealants or other chemicals that could compromise the good you’re trying to do.
- Switch Out the Small Stuff: Once you’ve decided on the best eco friendly flooring options for you, you may want to look upwards — to your fixtures. For instance, did you know that each American uses an average of 88 gallons of water a day at home? If you’ve got a leak or have low-efficiency appliances, you could be wasting much more. A drippy faucet should be swapped out for something that allows you to save water more easily. You can also add an aerator to your kitchen sink, which the EPA notes can save a lot of water and money. After that, consider making changes to your lighting (like opting for LED lights) to conserve energy there, too.
- Change Your Habits: An extensive, green-friendly renovation that involves eco friendly flooring options and new fixtures can make it easier to make good choices for our planet. But you can also make a difference in your kitchen by implementing simple changes to your routine. These changes might include starting a compost bin, growing your own herbs and veggies, eliminating your use of paper towels, running your dishwasher less frequently, or buying non-harmful cleaning products. With these newly formed habits, you’ll find going green is a lot more convenient than you ever thought.
Leading an eco-friendly lifestyle might seem a bit daunting at first. But the reality is that you don’t have to completely remodel your home to go green. By making some simple changes in your home’s flooring and fixtures and by making a conscious effort to conserve energy, water, food, and other natural resources, you’ll be doing your part to protect our planet for years to come.