The holidays are a time for family gatherings, and where do family members love to gather the most? Why, the kitchen, of course! That means that every little flaw gets noticed and commented on, with suggestions made for its repair. Instead of dealing with this phenomenon, why not make some small improvements to your kitchen before the holidays? Get ahead of the game and up the ante with the use of eco-friendly materials. Your kitchen looks fresh again, there’s nothing for people to criticize, and you have surroundings you enjoy cooking in throughout the rest of the year. Following are three green improvements you can make in your kitchen.
Switch to LED Bulbs
Image via Flickr by JeepersMedia
LED bulbs have seen precipitous drops in price as the technology for making them has normalized. The successor to the CFL, they offer cleaner light and come in bulb shapes that look like the traditional incandescent bulb. No more squiggly bulbs that need special disposal.
LEDs consume less energy, last for years in most cases, and broadcast light the same as an incandescent. Make sure to buy LED bulbs with warm or natural light color to avoid harsh lighting effects. A power surge does have the potential to knock out the electronics in an LED, so always keep some around for spares just in case.
Use Renewable Materials Wherever Possible
Bamboo and cork are two excellent materials that have multiple uses in the kitchen. Bamboo makes a great flooring, backsplash, and cutting boards. Cork is good for flooring but also works well as a place to rest kitchen utensils. The beauty of either material is the fact that they grow fast, are easily harvested, and are sturdy.
Bamboo is actually a dense grass that holds up to use and abuse but doesn’t easily show wear and tear. Its density means that it won’t absorb liquids easily. Make sure to oil anything bamboo on a regular basis, as it can splinter. Cork is harvested from a specific type of tree that regrows its bark. The cork gets ground up and turned into things such as tiles and trivets. It’s antimicrobial, resists water and heat, and acts as a shock absorber.
Install a Convection Oven
If it’s time to replace your oven, go with one that has a convection option. Convection ovens work by blowing the heat around the oven with a strong fan. They cook food more quickly than a traditional oven, reducing the amount of gas or electricity needed to cook. Food comes out tasting the same as if it were cooked in a conventional oven, but with less time spent waiting. Add an induction cooktop, if at all possible, to speed up making dishes on the stovetop.
These are just some of the ways you can improve your kitchen without spending a lot of time and effort doing so. A shiny new stove or interesting flooring shows off your desire to make your kitchen a wonderful place to spend time with your family and friends.