We explore the most frequently asked sustainable kitchen material questions

The concept of a sustainable kitchen renovation can often mean more than one thing to different people. Some might focus on using sustainably sourced and organic materials for its construction, others may concentrate on making it super energy efficient while some might take a more holistic view.

No matter how you look at it, sustainability in the kitchen is all about using natural materials that limit the use of artificial substances in the kitchen. The green kitchen trend isn’t just about incorporating natural and sustainable furniture; it trickles down into the smaller elements such as everyday utensils and cookware, ensuring that these are also durable, sustainable and ethically sourced.

To get more familiar with the world of sustainable kitchen renovation materials, we answer some fundamental questions that will help set you on your journey to sustainability.

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What are sustainable kitchen materials?

Sustainable kitchen materials are those building materials that provide environmental, social and economic benefits, while protecting the environment over the material’s whole life cycle – from the formation of the raw material, to installation, until final disposal. Examples of sustainable kitchen materials include reclaimed timber, birch plywood, bamboo, linoleum and cork.

What is the best material for kitchen cabinets?

Bamboo is an excellent environmental option because it is an extremely fast-growing grass that reaches maturity in 5 to 7 years for sustainable harvesting. Bamboo is considered a rapidly renewable resource, and in kitchen cabinetry, its veneers are cut using ultra-thin slices of wood which optimise the wood for maximum yield.

What is the best material for kitchen countertops?

Recycled kitchens countertop materials are some of the best to use. Materials like aluminium scrap, post-industrial plastics and even paper, are being made into innovative and interesting-looking worktop materials. Low maintenance and even used in past aerospace applications, paper countertops like Richlite are made of recycled-paper composite. If you are looking for a stone substitute, Alkemie is composed of no less than 60% aluminium scrap.

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What are the most sustainable kitchen floor options?

Cork, linoleum, bamboo, glass and concrete are all fantastic sustainable floor choices.

What’s the simplest way to have a more sustainable kitchen?

Sometimes, being more sustainable simply means taking a fresh look at your old kitchen. The best way to save resources, is using the resources you already have. Maybe your kitchen cabinets are well-configured, but simply need a facelift? Maybe your worktop only needs to be sanded down and resealed in your new sustainable kitchen? Re-using elements from your kitchen will save you money and lower your carbon footprint.

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What are eco lighting options?

The lighting industry has had a huge overhaul, with an increasing range of energy-efficient LED alternatives hitting the market and halogen bulbs to be phased out completely by this year. Look at LED bulbs to light up your kitchen, as they have an expected lifespan of 10,000 hours over conventional incandescent bulbs, so it’s definitely worth the investment. You can even go for a few coloured options to spruce up your kitchen and set the mood.

What are energy efficient kitchen appliances?

Energy efficient kitchen appliances like fridges, freezers, ovens, hobs, dishwashers, and washing machines and dryers, use significantly less energy than older appliances thanks to modern technology. Energy efficient appliances are purposely design to use as little resources like water and electricity as possible, while still performing its function well.

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What is sustainable paint made of?

Sustainability Paints can be made out of recycled, natural, or bio-based content. When considering a new kitchen colour, think about how eco-friendly the paint is and how it will perform.

By asking the right questions, and being more responsible with material selection, kitchens of the future and the environment around us will be a whole lot better off than in decades past. For further reading, find out how to complete a modern sustainable kitchen renovation.