06 April 2010

Sensible Style - Easy ways to go green in your kitchen

Earth Day is fast approaching, so Sensible Style is observing this important April 22nd date with some easy tips on making your kitchen more eco-friendly.

Dishwasher smarts

When it's time to replace your current dishwasher, look for one that's Energy Star rated, which can reduce the amount of electricity you use. Also look for a model that conserves water for additional eco power and utility savings. You can save even more water by not rinsing your dishes before you load them. Most of the newer detergents actually work better with food particles to fight. Try it - you'll be surprised!

Asko's XXL 5000 Series Dishwashers offer Energy Star and water savings with oversized capacity

Micro management

One of my go-to experts on appliances, Debbie Schaeffer, owner of Mrs. G's TV and Appliances in Lawrenceville, NJ, shares this eco-friendly tip: Use your microwave's speed cook feature instead of running your range for greater energy efficiency. Keeping your kitchen cooler in the summer and getting dinner on the table are two more benefits of speed cooking.

A microwave with speed cook, like this GE Profile Advantium, saves energy and time.

Faucet smarts

How often do you find yourself running your kitchen tap longer than you need to, just because you're across the room when the pot is filled, or you don't have a third hand to turn it off in time? Another culprit is the active child, who turns on the faucet on to wash her hands and forgets to turn it off. A faucet that turns on without a handle and turns off when you step away can be a big water saver. Being able to turn it on when your hands are full or sticky is a Sensible Style solution, too!

Brizo's Talo pours on the style and water savings

Put a cork in it

Cork is a great, green flooring option. It's a renewable resource that doesn't sacrifice trees. Some of it is also reycled. One of my favorite cork attributes is its softness underfoot. It looks like wood, but is much easier to stand on for long periods of time.

Eco-friendly cork floors can be formal, as shown in this offering from Globus Cork, or casual.

Lighten up

The recessed lights in your ceiling are probably halogen-based. These hog energy in two ways: one, they use a lot of it to light your room and two, their heat makes your air conditioner work harder in the summer. Consider replacing these outdated fixtures with low-energy LED lights. The added benefit is that you'll only have to replace them every 15 or 20 years. There are also LED-powered pendants and chandeliers you can install in place of your current light fixtures.

Tungsten pendant series by Access Lighting is LED-powered

Magnetic attraction

Ranges and cooktops aren't Energy Star-rated like other appliances, but can add a lot to your utility costs. A magnetic-powered induction cooktop, available on its own, or as the cooking surface of a freestanding or slide-in range, can cut your energy bills and speed your cooking time. I've done the side-by-side test of high BTU gas vs. induction. Induction is faster. It also won't heat up your kitchen in the summer, since only the area under your pot or pan gets hot. It's safer for families with active children or memory- and balance-challenged seniors who are less likely to get burned by grabbing it.

Kenmore Elite's new slide-in range features an induction cooktop


  1. Interesting to see the return of Eco-friendly cork floors. I thought that the amount of cork was not so high since the wine industry is using fake cork and other methods to close their bottles. However, it's good news for the economy of Portugal being the largest cork producer in the world.

  2. I need a gas stove replacement for my kitchen. The space will accomodate a 30 inch wide unit. What brand would you recommend? Also, what are your feelings about a convection oven? Thanks Shirley

  3. I'm not a fan of gas ranges. That being said, I think Monogram's is the best on the market. I prefer induction, which is more energy efficient and just as great for cooking.


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