How to update your kitchen & bathroom using sustainable practices
- 6 minute read
- Mar 8th, 2022
These days, with the threat of climate change and its consequences more pertinent than ever, we’re all trying to do our bit for the environment. Thanks to powerful voices like Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough, everyone is becoming more aware of the impact of our actions on the world around us.
Following the mantra ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, many of us are making efforts to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in our homes, recycle whatever we can, choose more sustainable transport options, and maybe even buy fewer clothes or shop second-hand.
However, when it comes to remodelling our homes, most people are not aware of how they can make more environmentally friendly choices. Do you have to keep the same tired, old rooms to be an eco-conscious homeowner, or is it possible to design your perfect home in a sustainable way?
In this blog, we share our top tips for how you can ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ to create the sustainable kitchen or eco-friendly bathroom you’ve been dreaming of, all while minimising your contribution to climate change.
1. Choose natural and sustainable materials
A huge part of being green is to reduce the number of artificial materials that we buy in the hope that this trend will eventually impact manufacturing on a larger scale.
Natural materials like metal, wood and stone are not only stylish, but they can also be the most eco-friendly choice when you source them responsibly. Marble, granite, quartz, and glass are all great, natural options for your kitchen or bathroom surfaces and fit the trend for layering textures in the home.
It is also essential to choose materials that emit less harmful gases into the environment when manufactured and throughout their life. Volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) have a negative impact on indoor air quality and can have long-term, harmful health effects. Therefore, it’s vital we limit their release as much as possible. At Granite and TREND Transformations, our surfaces are GREENGUARD certificated, ensuring they emit no dangerous VOCs. Additionally, our manufacturing produces 20% fewer polluting emissions than standard processes.
2. Think long-term
Another benefit of these natural materials is that they are durable, particularly worktops that incorporate quartz and granite. By investing in materials that last, you can ensure your kitchen or bathroom will look brand new for many years to come, and you’ll avoid the use of additional materials and their necessary manufacturing.
This robustness is essential in busy and heavily used rooms, like the kitchen and bathroom. While surfaces must cope with heavy pans, sharp tools, and extreme temperatures in the kitchen, bathroom surfaces face damp, humid conditions. Our etherium® By E-Stone worktops and surfaces are mould, mildew, heat, scratch and stain-resistant, and have built-in Microban® anti-bacterial protection, which actively reduces the growth of bacteria and lasts for the life of the product.
Another way to future-proof your interior design is to choose timeless colours and styles that won’t go out of fashion within a few months or years. That way, your floors, surfaces and units will never be outdated, and you can update the room later using inexpensive accessories or a lick of paint.
When it does come to replacing aspects of your kitchen or bathroom further down the line, natural resources like wood, metal and glass are fully recyclable, ensuring you are not creating more waste for landfills. You could even sell the materials when you are ready for a change, passing them on to continue their use and providing some spare cash to put towards a new look.
3. Consider second-hand and recycled
Second-hand home interiors are now hugely popular, being kind to the environment as well as your bank balance. However, if you don’t like the idea of a completely second-hand kitchen or bathroom, there may be aspects that you could buy ‘pre-loved’.
Appliances that are in top condition can be as good as new, or you may like the idea of incorporating some vintage items. A rustic kitchen table or antique bathroom sink can add class and interest to an otherwise modern design, though it can take a little extra effort to source the perfect item. Or perhaps get creative and employ some DIY to your current furniture to give it new life. Repaint, stencil or sand down tables or desks to create a remodelled dining surface or paint and hang wooden boxes for extra storage.
Alternatively, recycled materials are now being incorporated into many new manufactured items, including our surfaces and splashbacks, which use up to 72% post-consumer recycled glass. Our signature blue glass is made from SKYY® Vodka bottles and transformed into incredible mosaic tiles and glass worktops. We’re proud that Granite and TREND Transformations were the first company to combine recycled beer, wine and mineral water bottles with polymer technology. We also recycle the 70% wasted in traditional quarry mining as key granite and quartz ingredients in our etherium® By E-stone surfaces, so there is 30-70% less waste at the source.
4. Reuse as much as you can
Instead of assuming you need to replace your kitchen worktops and units, or bathroom surfaces completely, why not see what you can reuse? Another environmentally and wallet-friendly option is just changing the cupboard doors and worktop, creating an entirely new look that uses parts of your current kitchen.
We specialise in replacement worktops and cupboard doors in various styles and colours. Our stunning, eco-friendly worktops are uniquely designed to be strong and durable but also light and thin so they can be easily fitted to your existing surfaces.
By simply resurfacing and replacing doors and accessories, a new kitchen from Granite and TREND Transformations creates 75% less waste for landfills than a traditional kitchen remodel. Our innovative processes also mean less waste is produced in manufacturing, while our lighter, thinner materials mean a significantly reduced carbon footprint from transportation.
5. Focus on efficiency
When buying appliances, always check the energy label, which will tell you how much energy it uses and how efficient it is. Appliances are rated on a scale from A to G, with A being the most efficient product of its class and G being the least efficient. By choosing the product with the best energy rating for the size you require, you can do your bit for the environment and save money on your energy bills.
Some appliances are naturally more economical than others. For example, an induction hob is much more efficient than a gas one, as it only heats the pan it is in contact with, and there is no heat wasted. Similarly, a hot water tap is more energy-saving than boiling the kettle as you only heat the exact amount of water needed.
Water efficiency is also important and is another factor to consider when choosing appliances like dishwashers or items for your bathroom like taps and showers.
At Granite and TREND Transformations, we constantly seek ways to improve our environmental credentials and become more efficient.
Better for you, better for the environment
By taking these ideas on board, you can minimise your new kitchen or bathroom’s carbon footprint without compromising on style or function.
Indeed, sustainable options are usually wallet-friendly too. By refacing rather than replacing your cupboards and worktops, you’ll be making an eco-friendly choice as well as saving money, so everybody wins.
Energy-efficient and water-efficient appliances also cost less to run, so your new kitchen or bathroom will help to reduce your monthly outgoings in the long term. And by choosing durable materials that last, everything will be looking fresh and new for many years to come.
Our commitment to sustainability
By choosing one of our worktop overlays or replacement cupboard doors, you are reducing your consumption and helping to contribute to a better future, a crucial part of our company’s ethos.
Sustainability is high on our list of priorities. We partner with many of the world’s foremost environmental organisations, architects, and designers to ensure we are making this a reality in everything we do.
We constantly strive to improve our manufacturing facilities and find sources for our materials that have the lowest possible impact on the environment, so you can be sure that your new kitchen or bathroom will both look good and do good.
Do you dream of an ‘eco-chic’ remodel? Are you hoping to revamp your kitchen or bathroom without compromising your green ethos? Get in touch to find out how we can transform your kitchen or bathroom while reducing the impact on the environment. You can download a brochure to view our range of surfaces and cupboard doors, visit a showroom to experience the quality of our products for yourself, or try our 3D Design Tool to visualise the transformation.