The kitchen has been called the Heart of the Home for decades, and not just because of its typical geographical location in the center of a house.
Most people spend a substantial part of their day in the kitchen; much of that time is spent with friends and family.
Hence, the “heart” of the home. Author Steven Gdula’s book, The Warmest Room in the House, follows American trends, culture, science, inventions throughout the 20th century and reflects on how they shaped domestic life and how we define “home.”
One significant contribution to kitchens of the 21st century is the environmentally conscious movement, aka: Going Green group. We’ve already looked at ways of decreasing our pollutant footprint through adjustments made in the bathroom; let’s continue the discussion and talk about ways we can tweak our kitchen’s eco-friendliness. Or lack, thereof.
- Upgrade single-pane windows to double pane windows
- Using low water-use dishwashers
- Upgrading to Energy Star appliances
- Using fluorescent and/or halogen lights
- Using energy-efficient dimmers
- Use dishwashers with the option to “air-dry”
- Insulate plumbing
- Use a whole-house water filtration system
- Vent kitchen ranges to the outdoors
- Use formaldehyde-free paint
- Replace vinyl flooring with natural linoleum (made from natural materials like linseed oil, jute, cork dust, and wood dust)
- Use exposed concrete as a finished floor
- Use solvent-free adhesives
- Use non-toxic cleaners
Although some of these solutions may be more pricey than their traditional counterparts, they will save you $$ in the long run and could drastically improve your health, especially if you are living in an older home (think: lead paint, asbestos, formaldehyde off-gassing, etc.) And for those hoping to sell someday, making these and other changes can help make your house more attractive to fellow 21st century home shoppers.
My name is Joni Kerley, I specialize in real estate throughout Snohomish County. For help with your home buying or selling questions, feel free to give me a call at 425-343-4545.
Also in the “Going Green One Room at a Time” series:
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