What's the most important environmental problem with a conventional kitchen remodel?
Energy consumption, followed by bad lighting and bad ventilation. The kitchen is the most energy-intensive room in the house. Oversized and energy-inefficient appliances are the number one problem with conventional kitchen remodels.
Do we really need refrigerators that can store an excessive amount of food? How much of that are you really eating? And how big do we really need that microwave to be?
Bigger is definitely not better in this area.
What environmental problems are associated with using a conventional kitchen?
Use of too much energy as the result of poor appliance choices
Overconsumption of water due to incorrectly sized dishwashers
Chemical sensitization due to overexposure to emissions from cabinetry, insulation and flooring products containing formaldehyde
Overconsumption of energy due to poor natural lighting and ventilation
Poor air quality due to inadequate ventilation
Excessive use of environmentally degrading cleaning products (e.g., chlorine bleach, ammonia) because of high-maintenance surfaces and floors
Generation of too much garbage because of lack of space for storage of recyclables and compostables
What are the health benefits of the green remodeling process, and of using a green kitchen?
First of all, there are positive mental health benefits of having a brighter, better-ventilated work space. As for the physical health benefits, having a green kitchen brings us less or no exposure to toxic chemicals (such as finishes, paints, cleaning products, etc.).
What are some favorite innovations or design ideas for a green kitchen?
Lots of operable windows for natural daylight and free ventilation
A receptacle for compostable materials near the work prep area
Easy access to and sufficient room for recyclables storage in the kitchen
A dish-drawer dishwasher, which is great for smaller loads
A small, energy-efficient refrigerator/freezer
Hardwood floors, which are easier to stand on than stone or tile, have no grout to clean and mop up easily with soap and water
A place to grow herbs
Sufficient and easy to use storage design that doesn't encourage hoarding
A cold box, which keeps fruits and veggies such as apples and potatoes fresh without requiring refrigeration
Resource - greenhomeguide.com