Four Sophisticated Ways to Green Your Kitchen

Sustainability and eco-consciousness might be more relevant in the kitchen than any other room in the house. The kitchen is where technology lives side by side with organic elements and together they coexist and do daily duty – feeding both mind and body.

Here’s a list of some products and appliances that perform well, look great, and have the additional benefits of helping your home become more efficient, use less energy and turn your kitchen green.

1. Check Under the Hood

Most homeowners tend to default to whichever hood their local showroom sells them with their range, or whatever hood is already installed in their homes.

Zephyr’s new Next Generation Europa Collection with DCBL Suppression System is not only beautiful, but energy efficient. The DCBL Suppression System uses a direct current (DC) brushless motor rather than an AC motor which is why Zephyr’s hoods consume 77% less energy. This same motor provides 30% more power to the hood, but it’s also 77% quieter. The collection also uses a dimmable LED— an industry first— which is called Bloom HD LED and offers 25,000 hours of life versus 2,000 offered by halogens. And for all those roving hands in the kitchen, it’s cool to the touch.

Bonus: If you are already a Zephyr hood owner – and are interested in showing off your uber-cool hood – Zephyr is running a contest right now called Inspire My Kitchen Design Contest , which awards homeowners prizes. The grand prize is Chef Tom Hurley preparing dinner for up to 16 of your friends in your home.

2. Lighting the Way

Lighting choices is a much more complicated decision these days. LED lights, which at first seemed prohibitively expensive, have come down in price and are better for the environment. LED bulbs are lit solely by the movement of electrons. Unlike incandescent, they have no filament that will burn out; and unlike CFLs, they contain no mercury or other toxic substances. LEDs can last some 60 times longer than incandescents and 10 times longer than CFLs. Creative Systems Lighting offers plenty of LED options, including Orb, which features a rotating aluminum body and LEDs that use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 50 times longer.

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A Better Cup of Coffee

I use a refillable thermos for water. I bike and walk to where I need to go. I frequently buy vintage dresses. I bring a coffee mug across the street to Flying Fish  Coffee and Tea to courier my caffeine back to my apartment. But of course, I’m not always traveling with a mug.

And when I spot places that minimize my guilt over wasting paper for a transient cup of coffee, I take notice.

I’m not one to grab a sleeve for hot beverages (my hands are always cold – I love the burn!) And I never double cup it. An old coworker of mine used to bring a cloth sleeve with her, and I thought it was quite an adorable way to stylize. While I appreciated her commitment to fashion, I never bought a sleeve.

That was a few years ago. I stopped expecting new ways to minimize waste in coffee cups. And then I ordered a latte at Lagkagehuset in Copenhagen. The famous danish shop poured my order in a ridged cup. The sleeve was now the entire cup, alleviating the need for both a sleeve and double cupping.

Now if only I didn’t feel bad about my carbon footprint for wanting to go to Denmark every time I want a latte.

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