7 Steps to an Eco-Friendly Kitchen

Eco-friendly living will continue to be a hot trend in 2019, with more and more homeowners realizing how the details of their lifestyle can affect the environment in the long run. If you want to keep up with the times, you ought to update your home with sustainable choices, from your living room to your kitchen. To get you started, here are 7 steps you can take for an eco-friendly kitchen.

7 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Kitchen

1. Choose Your Appliances Wisely

Look for energy-efficient appliances. These use just enough energy to do their job and can help you save 10-50% of the normal power consumption of their regular versions. Some of them even run on renewable energy, such as solar power. One indicator of an eco-friendly appliance is the Energy Star label, which is placed on products that the Environmental Protection Agency certifies as energy-efficient.

In addition, you might want to unplug your appliances when they’re not in use. Leave them plugged in and they’ll still use up power.

2. Cook Smart

If you tend to prepare meals without much thought, you’re probably using more energy in your kitchen than you actually need. This can increase your carbon footprint without you realizing it. Here are some points to keep in mind when you’re in the kitchen:

  • Use just enough water. The more water you use, the more energy you’ll need to heat it up or get it to boiling point. Plus, excess water is wasted water.
  • Use lids when you cook. This traps heat and speeds up your cooking.
  • Try using the microwave instead of the oven when you can. This way, you can use 80% less energy to reheat the same food item.
  • Cut down on meat and dairy. It takes up a surprising amount of resources to raise a cow. Forests are sometimes even converted into pastures just to raise livestock. The more meat and dairy you consume, the bigger your carbon footprint.

3. Upgrade Cookware and Utensils

Switch out your plastic cookware for modern equivalents made of eco-friendly materials such as porcelain, glass, or wood. It’s a good thing there are several brands selling sustainable kitchen products nowadays! These include Rustic Wall Co., which produces kitchen utensils made of logging scraps, or Bambeco, which reuses its leftover materials and plants a tree for every purchase.

4. Cook With Organic Greens

Try to cook with herbs and vegetables that are fresh and free of pesticides. There are two ways to do this: buy from local green grocers or farmers’ markets, or grow your own produce.

Locally sourced greens don’t consume as much fuel just to be transported, which is a big eco-friendly plus. Be sure of whom you’re buying from, though. A large commercial farm that douses its crops with pesticides could fall under “local” if it’s just across your street. Opt for produce from small, organic farms.

You can also try your hand at growing your own herbs and vegetables. Many common vegetables are perfect for budding gardeners. These include tomatoes, cabbage, and spring onions. The additional backyard foliage will help keep the air at home fresh, too.

5. Cut Down on Food Waste

If your kitchen is truly eco-friendly, it will ideally produce minimal food waste. The following tips should keep you from throwing out too much food:

  • Shop smart. When you’re at the groceries, be realistic and buy only what you need.
  • Don’t over-serve. When scooping food onto your plate, don’t pile it up in heaps. Instead, get smaller portions and go back for seconds if needed.
  • Save your leftovers. If you’re feeling creative, you can use leftovers to whip up a fantastic meal. Just label them to keep track of how long they’ve been in your fridge.
  • Note down the food you toss out. That way you’ll know what you don’t use and take steps to avoid repeated kitchen wastage, whether that means buying smaller sizes of the same product or cutting that item out of your menu entirely.

6. Use Your Fridge Right

Your fridge uses up energy to keep food cold. If you’re aiming to have an eco-friendly kitchen, you’ll want to reduce the work your fridge has to do. Position your fridge in a cool area of your kitchen, and let food cool before putting it in the fridge.

Make sure that your fridge is still efficient, too. Defrost it regularly to keep your fridge and freezer running efficiently. Also, check if the seals around the door need to be changed. A quick test: close the door on a dollar bill. If the bill easily slides out, that means that the seals are also loose enough to let cold air seep out. Replace the seals as needed.

7. Use Green Cleaning Products

Some kitchen cleaning products have chemicals which can harm your family as well as the environment. Switch to eco-friendly alternatives with natural formulas. Homemade cleaning ingredients won’t give off strong odors, yet they can often be just as effective as store-bought cleaning products.

With these 7 steps, you’ll be on your way to an eco-friendly kitchen with a smaller carbon footprint. This sustainable lifestyle choice isn’t just a great way to welcome the new year, but it’ll help keep your home cleaner and fresher for you and your family.

For more tips on sustainable living and interior design, visit our blog regularly.

8 Smart Refrigerator Organizing Ideas You Need to Know

Leaving your refrigerator unorganized isn’t only a hassle, but could be dangerous as well. Food that was haphazardly stored inside could spoil faster. This can leave bacteria and molds to fester inside your fridge and make you susceptible to a number of diseases.

Organizing your fridge is a necessity.

To keep you on top of this task, here are 8 smart refrigerator organizing ideas for your kitchen.

1. Schedule your fridge-cleaning

It would be much easier to keep your fridge clean and organized if you stick to a routine. Clean it once a week so you can be sure to always have space for your leftovers and midnight purchases. Pick out which ones you need to throw out and and those that are still edible.

Smart tips: Put mats underneath the shelves. It is much easier to launder the mats than to scrub away at the stains left behind your fridge. Place plastic wrap over the mats so it’ll be easier to discard liquid mess as well. Also, if you want to clean your fridge without risking getting chemicals in your food, you can put together a cleaner made of homemade ingredients.

2. Label to save time

Always pack and seal the food shut before storing them away. Improperly packaged and loosely sealed food could expose these items to different kinds of bacteria. Exposure to the open air could also make them spoil faster than you’d expect them to.

Smart tips: Always label the food after packing and sealing them. Label what they are and when they were stored in the fridge. Have a separate “eat me” bin so you could identify which food items need to be consumed immediately. You could also write on the fridge with an easy erase marker to easily track the food items that are about to expire.

3. Mason jars over tupperwares

If it’s fruit or vegetables, mason jars beat tupperwares every time. Mason jars consume lesser space than tupperwares since they’re smaller and shorter than the latter. They also make your fridge look better on the inside.

Smart tips: Be sure to use the sure-seal mason jars.

4. Group like items together

You should never mix different food groups together. Again, this makes your food susceptible to different kinds of bacteria and could lead to faster spoilage. The vegetables go in the vegetable and fruit bin. The leftovers should be put with other leftovers, etc.

Smart tips: Lazy susans or turntables can not only help you distinguish which belongs to what type of food group, but they also help make sure you never forget anything at the back space of your fridge. You could also use bins to segregate the food groups from each other.

5. Make room for more

Try to consume as little space as you can in your fridge. You could do this by maximizing the entire space available inside the fridge. Stack tall food items such as bottles and cartons on top of each other so you can add another shelf in your fridge.

Smart tips: Repurpose the containers available at home such as six pack containers, egg cartons, and magazine holders. Your six pack containers can be used to store bottles together. Egg cartons can be used to store condiment bottles upside down so they take up less space on the fridge. Magazine holders can act as bins for bigger food items.

6. Magnets will solve everything

Apply magnets at the inside your fridge. This can help in maximizing every space available in your fridge, so it would be easier to store your food inside.

Smart tips: Use the magnets to hang your bottles at the top of your fridge. You can use the space below to store food and other items that needs refrigeration.

7. Binder clips are the future

People often have problems with stacking bottles together since they tend to slip and fall from their pyramids. You can use binders to stop your bottles from rolling over. This is especially useful for those beer bottles you want to keep cool in your fridge.

Smart tips: You can use the binder clips to tightly seal your bag containers as well.

8. Hang the bag

Like the magnet idea, you can hang your bags in the in-between spaces of the shelves or trays in your fridge. You can use the binder clips again to hang them on your shelves and trays. This will give you more space to store food items underneath it.

Smart tips: Install a pull-out unit in your fridge so you can have an easier time to hang bags inside.

 

Do you have more smart refrigerator organizing ideas? Let us know by commenting below!

6 Rustic Kitchen Design Ideas

The charm of rustic interiors has taken the Internet by storm. It has that familiar and warm aura that evokes a comfortable atmosphere. If you want the same cozy feel for your kitchen, you’d be surprised to know that you don’t really have to bear the high cost of kitchen remodelling to achieve the look of this popular interior design trend.

You can get it done without breaking the bank. Below you will find 6 great kitchen design ideas that will bring the rustic vibe right into your kitchen.

1. Weathered Wooden Cabinets and Clapboard

Weathered Wooden Cabinets and Clapboard

Weathered wood and age-old stoneworks make up a quintessential rustic design. The weathered wood, chipped paints, and warm brick and stone are the basic ingredients to make a perfect homey rustic-themed kitchen.

If you don’t have an age old wood, you can DIY a weathered wood, click here to learn.

2. Tuscan Country Design

Spruce up your kitchen with vintage woodworks, warm color paints and soft floral fabric. This particular kitchen design features soft patterned fabric, heirloom wooden cupboard and white-washed walls.

3. Beautiful Stoneworks

Beautiful Stoneworks

Aside from weathered wooden furniture and cabinets, a touch of beautiful stoneworks can also make a good rustic kitchen. You can add an element of stone in your fireplace hearth or in the kitchen wall. For the countertops, you can choose quartz or granite. Matching stoneworks with wood is basically a handy way to achieve a rustic kitchen design.

4. Industrial Rustic

Industrial Rustic

A rustic kitchen design is not only for age-old homes. You can put a touch of rustic design in your modern home by thinking sleek, clean and minimalist. You can achieve a modern or industrial rustic kitchen design by pairing shiny stainless steel and rustic wood elements. Wood floors can also do great with this design, but you can also opt for polished concrete flooring. Then add a touch of accent color in your rather neutral wood colored kitchen.

5. Barn Rustic Kitchen

Barn Rustic Kitchen

You can never go wrong with dark wooden beams in your all-white kitchen. Dark hardwood beams like that in barns create a perfect contrast with your clean white kitchen design. The combination is perfect to achieve a clean, airy feel in your kitchen. Lastly, jazz up your rustic barn design with a pastel colored rag.

6. Rustic Cabin Kitchen

Rustic Cabin Kitchen

If dark hardwood looks too much for you, try a gentler wood stain like pine or white oak for your kitchen. Woods with lighter tones of brown fare well in creating a gentle warm feel in your space. This is a good choice for your ceiling, walls and floors. You can add contrast by using darker tones for your furniture and cabinetry.

Do you find this article informative? Share us your thoughts by commenting below.

How to Decorate a Kitchen Using Earth Tones

Here’s a how-to video by Erica Lugbill, the owner of Lugbill Designs, that discusses ways to decorate a kitchen using earth tones.

Nothing beats the combination of rich warm woods with earth tone colors. You can’t go wrong with this combination because it is warm and inviting.

When decorating your kitchen, the key is to aim for a perfect contrast. Start with your cabinetry samples and match them with the earth tone paint color that you like.

Another way to decorate your kitchen with earth tone is with the backsplash tile and earth stone counter top. If you have a window in your kitchen, you can also match the earth tone theme with the wooden shade.

Using earth tones for a kitchen’s interior design can bring impressive results, especially with the help of a professional. Check out this video for further instructions in decorating a kitchen using earth tones: http://www.lugbilldesigns.com/videos/kitchen-earth-tones.html

Need help with your home’s interior design, find useful tips and update from our interior design blog.

Redesigning Your Kitchen: Top 50 Trends to Follow

Redesigning Your Kitchen: Top 50 Trends to Follow

Introduction: Designing Your Kitchen

Planning a renovation is tricky. This is especially true for kitchen renovations where every small detail could make or break the general outcome of the task.

Read more

5 Kitchens That Combine Form & Function

Modern Loft Kitchen in Chicago1. Sometimes I walk into an initial consult, and am overcome with the potential of the space. This Chicago West Loop condo, with its concrete ceilings and rich wood floors, falls into that category. It was oozing with potential . The concrete combined with wood, stone, and glass creates an interesting layered look. Metal and glass modern light fixtures are the perfect finishing detail for this space.

Slab front espresso cabinetry along with pale quartz counter tops creates striking, high contrast look. A combination of different sizes of stone and glass were used to construct an interesting and masculine backsplash.

 

 

North Chicago Kitchen2. Sleek glass tile is the focal point in this loft-style kitchen. The stacked tile design adds to the modern aesthetic of the kitchen and keeps the design very clean. The tile was laid above the cabinets to add height and drama to the space. Perforated metal pendant lighting illuminated by Edison light bulbs adds a unique flair to this home. Here’s a designer tip for you: Be bold with your lighting selections. Light fixtures are a great place to express your personality.

 

 

 

Contemporary Chicago Kitchen Design3. The goal of this kitchen remodel was to create a modern kitchen that felt crisp, clean, fresh, and airy. Recycled glass mosaic tile creates a dramatic impact on the back splash. Two different tones of the same tile were used to create a graphic stripe pattern. You can’t see it here, but the reflective glass tile shimmers in the natural sunlight.

 

 

 

 

 

Wicker Park Chicago Kitchen4. This kitchen is a combination of traditional and modern elements. The cabinetry, granite, and hardware are very contemporary, but with the infusion of a custom rustic kitchen table, fabric dining chairs and cornice boards, the space becomes cozy. The cornice boards were created in an unexpected bohemian patterned fabric with orange accents to add interest and pattern to the room. The hammered metal pendants hanging at varying height, are copper on the inside and produce a warm glow.

The focal point is a custom double pedestal base table. This table was created to fit the space perfectly and fulfill all of the family’s needs. With a bench on one side for the kids, and more formal dining chairs on the opposing side, the kitchen has found the perfect balance between formal and casual.

 

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Source: http://www.1.bp.blogspot.com

5. The purpose of a kitchen is to create meals that bring people together. This kitchen does a great job of incorporating a dining area with the kitchen. We all know that getttogethers often end with people congregating in the kitchen. By having the eating space face the preparation area, the cook can intimately interact with the people who get to enjoy their creations.

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