The following is a guest post from Kelsey Reaves, a writer for Modernize.com, a website that connects contractors to homeowners looking for home improvement services.
The kitchen is one of the highest energy using rooms in your home. With all of the appliances and paper products, it’s easy to see the kitchen as a major waste contributor. Luckily, you can offset some of this problem by decorating your kitchen in an eco-friendly way.
At Modernize we’re all about being resourceful! Eco-consciousness is not just a trend but a necessity for a sustainable life, it’s a characteristic you will want to teach future generations and the best way is by leading with example.
Make Your Own Reusable “Unpaper Towels”
Wasting paper is common in many household kitchens. Most families do recycle, but they’re only focused on obvious items like paper bags and plastic bottles.
Take a moment to step back in your kitchen and notice all of the paper products you are utilizing. Probably the first thing to catch your eye is paper towels. They may seem irreplaceable to your kitchen, but think again!
Here’s an idea: find a few cute terry cloth washcloths, about 12×12 inches in size. Install snaps to the corners of each terrycloth so that you can connect them together using the snaps. (Snap guns and snaps can be found at most hobby stores.)
Now snap your towels together into a line and roll them onto your paper towel holder. Congratulations! You’ve just created a decorative washable cloth towel that you can rip off and reuse at your convenience. Think of all the paper you’ll save, plus you can choose a pattern to match your decor.
Mommypotamus has a great step-by-step guide here: DIY Unpaper Towels (Without A Sewing Machine)
Use Eco-friendly Building Materials
Building a new home? Renovating your kitchen any time soon? Consider using eco-friendly or recycled building materials for your doors, countertops and flooring.
Here are a couple of options:
Cork flooring can be found in a variety of colors and finishes. Cork is 100% renewable and some brands make the flooring from old wine bottle stoppers. How cool is that? And not only is it incredibly durable and naturally resistant to mold, it’s also fire-resistant! Check out The Benefits of Cork Flooring from HGTV and Benefits of Cork Flooring from Mother Earth News for more info.
Bamboo is gaining popularity for its aesthetics and for being very eco-friendly. It’s flexible, lightweight, and naturally water-resistant making it very durable; but best of all, it’s extremely affordable thanks to its ease of harvesting and fast growing properties. In fact, “a bamboo forest may be harvested every six years, while hardwood forests may require decades between harvests” according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNachi). See Bamboo Construction and Inspection from InterNACHI for more great benefits to using bamboo.
Reuse and Re-purpose Materials
There’s nothing like using natural materials to add texture to a room and bring life to your neutral colors.
One of the most eco-friendly things you can do when decorating your kitchen is to reuse and re-purpose existing materials to create new decor instead of buying new things.
Collect a few objects around your home that you like but are no longer using and get creative. Use old mason jars as a creative herb planter or storage system for your kitchen knick knacks. Collect a few seashells on your next trip to the beach – then add tea light candles inside them to use as a centerpiece. Dry out an old piece of driftwood from your yard and install it as a towel rack.
You’ll be shocked by how many interesting and renewable ideas you can come up with. You’ll get tons of compliments on your rustic decor and you can feel proud of the steps taken to make the world a better place.
Thanks Kelsey for the great guest post! Make sure to head to Modernize to find inspiration and other tips for your next home improvement project.
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