GUEST POST: Go Green Without Spending All Your Green

Two Material Countertop and a French Country Kitchen

Currently, one of the biggest trends for homes is “going green.” Unfortunately, the biggest problem with going green is…green. Remodeling a room to be eco-friendly can really cost you a lot of money. That price tag is something that scares a lot of budget-conscious people away. It doesn’t have to be like that though. Going green can be easy on the Earth and on your wallet – here are some helpful hints for remodeling your kitchen:

  • Be a collector – You don’t have to redo your entire kitchen at once. If you have your heart set on some of the pricier eco options available then think of your kitchen as a collection of pieces, and remodel one piece at a time.
  • Dress it up – When redoing your kitchen cabinets it is possible to be both eco and budget conscious:
    • Refinish your cabinets – You can completely change the appearance of your cabinets by refinishing them. Just make sure you use a non-toxic stripping agent and low or VOC free stain/paint or milk paint.
    • Add new hardware – Head out and grab some eco-friendly cabinet finishes including pulls, hinges, and knobs. Some materials to consider are recycled glass or aluminum and cork. In comparison to traditional cabinet hardware, green hardware can be a bit pricy but it’s nothing compared to the price of brand new cabinets.
  • Think thrift store – When it comes to redoing your kitchen countertops, there are a lot of green materials to choose from, but rather than going out and custom building consider using remnants. One benefit of remnants is that you’re using a piece of material that may otherwise go to waste. Another is that you can get an otherwise expensive piece of granite, quartz, marble, or etc. at a low price. Keep in mind that remnants are pieces left over from other jobs so finding a piece big enough for your entire kitchen may be a challenge. Get creative; consider using a different color for your island or scaling down on your backsplash.
  • Cover up – Painting is one of the cheapest and most transformative things you can do. Run out and get a couple of gallons of low VOC, VOC free, or milk paint – you’ll be surprised at how much it changes the look and feel of your kitchen. You can typically find eco-friendly brands for only $3 to $5 more per gallon than regular paint.
  • Rearrange things – If you want to be eco-friendly without spending a dime, do a little rearranging of your kitchen appliances. Make sure that your refrigerator isn’t next to a window or stove. When your fridge is next to either of those it has to work harder to maintain it’s internal temperature.

Being green doesn’t mean spending all your green, so don’t be afraid of being eco-friendly. Use the tips in this article to help you think about creative, cheap ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

This article contributed by Alex Webb on behalf of Concepts – providing Indianapolis and Cincinnati granite for countertops since 2003. Alex is a home improvement show addict who loves to explore different decorating techniques and materials. She especially enjoys the challenge of working on a tight budget and passing that experience and knowledge along to others.

Image credit (image is creative commons): 2MaterialCountertop; French Country Kitchen by NancyHugo


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