Michelle Kaufmann’s mkISLAND doubles as a table—ideal for small, energy-efficient homes. The countertops are concrete blended with recylced materials like fly ash, porcelain or rice hulls (from $5,250; mkd-arc.com).
Yolo Colorhouse paints don’t release harmful volatile compounds. They also come in a great selection of colors, including dark shades, which can be tricky to produce with green standards (from $40; 877-493-8275 or yolocolorhouse.com).
Chilipepper’s under-sink pump has a microprocessor that reduces water waste. ($180; 800-914-9887).
LED bulbs are 70-90 times more energy-efficient than incandescents. Progress Lighting sells many LED fixtures (progresslighting.com).
FSC-certified wood cabinets have the blessing of the Forest Stewardship Council. Neil Kelly offers FSC-certified styles (neilkellycabinets.com).
Web Exclusive: More Tips for an Eco-Friendly Kitchen
Kitchen faucet aerators add air into the water stream and conserve 30 percent more water than traditional faucets, saving approximately 570 gallons of water in a year.
Use more natural light to cut down on energy use. Install windows where there would normally be a backsplash to bathe counters in sunlight. Skylights bring in light and can also double as a vent.
Paperstone countertops are made with post-consumer waste, recycled paper and petroleum-free resins. Versions come in 50 percent and 100 percent recycled materials (from $40 per square foot; paperstoneproducts.com).
Bamboo countertops like Ecotop are a blend of bamboo fiber and recycled wood salvaged from deomolition sites. The material comes in six colors and custom shades (kliptech.com).
Tweak the thermostat by three degrees—down in winter, up in summer—to prevent the emission of more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year and to cut energy bills by more than 10 percent (epa.gov).
15 Easy Ways to Live Better
- 1: Opt for Compostable Plates
- 2: Clean Up with Green Products
- 3: Upcycle Your Stained Clothes
- 4: Drink Water from a Reusable Bottle
- 5: Bring Your Own Grocery Bags
- 6: Set a Stylish Green Table
- 7: Buy the Purest Spirits
- 8: Fill Up Your Freezer
- 9: Stock a Green Fridge
- 10: Use Less Energy for Cooking
- 11: Buy a Smart Power Strip
- 12: Trust Your Dishwasher
- 13: Make Eco-Conscious Kitchen-Design Choices
- 14: Take a Green Vacation
- 15: Wash Clothes in Warm Water