Friday, December 12, 2008


“Going green”, “sustainable living”, “eco-friendly environment” to name just a few…. It seems every industry today has their buzz-word for how to be kind to the earth. The question is what will truly make a difference and what is just hype?

I just finished taking a Kitchen Series seminar for the past few weeks and one subject we discussed was how to work sustainable living into a kitchen renovation. It’s worth noting however, that many of these points apply to any kind of home renovation.

In order to help you remember each point try using the acronym F.R.E.S.H.

F is for Functional
If something isn’t functional, then it’s not worth the effort or price tag. It can be the trendiest appliance on the market and boast being a great energy saver, but if you aren’t going to find it useful in your environment then what is the point?

R is for Renewable
When practical, look to utilizing products that are grown, harvested and replanted on a relatively short rotational basis. For example; bamboo, grasses, cork, soy, hemp, cotton, etc. There have been some amazing advances in these areas of innovation. Check out for some of the latest sources.

E is for Eco-Friendly
Do our part to leave the smallest footprint on the environment. We can do this by installing the minimum amount of product during a renovation. Ask yourself questions such as; Are we really making the best use of the space we already have? Do we really need both upper and lower kitchen cabinets? Could we just re-purpose our cabinet doors? How about open storage?

S is for Sustainability
This refers to meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future. By purchasing durable, quality products instead of throw away items we are reducing the amount of trash in our land-fills and ensuring products are lasting for years to come.

H is for Healthy
By keeping yourself informed on the latest in green products and technology you can take advantage of the zero or low VOC paints and water based stains and finishes. Try to choose cabinet interiors that do not off-gas VOC’s and utilize countertops such as quartz made with microban to inhibit bacteria growth.

By remembering the acronymn F.R.E.S.H. you can always be sure to take into consideration these points when undertaking any home renovation project.

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