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8 Affordable Ideas for a Green Kitchen Remodel

Sustainable Kitchen Remodel Ideas That Work With Every Budget


As construction professionals in the forward-thinking Portland, Oregon metro area, we’ve worked on a variety of projects that place an emphasis on green building practices. We would prefer to use these green practices for every project, but we understand that the additional costs can be prohibitive for many of our clients. However, even with a restrictive budget, there are several affordable green building options for homeowners to consider. Read on for our list of sustainable kitchen remodeling ideas that won’t kill your budget.

1. Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are not only up to 50% cheaper than granite, they are also a vastly more sustainable option. This is not only because they can be produced locally (as opposed to being imported from overseas) but also because concrete can be produced using materials from industrial waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill. As a bonus, concrete countertops offer a laid-back, industrial feel that pairs nicely with both modern and contemporary kitchen styles.

2. Radiant Heat Flooring

Although radiant heat flooring does require up-front installation costs, the long-term benefits are certainly rewarding. In fact, radiant heat flooring systems are up to 30% more efficient than traditional forced air heating systems. This means significantly less energy usage (and lower energy bills!) for homeowners that choose to install radiant heat over forced air.  

3. Evergreen Design

One of the most effective approaches for any environmentally conscious renovation is carefully choosing updates that can stand the test of time. That doesn’t just mean durable structural engineering and high-quality materials, although they’re both essential. It’s also important to choose a classic, neutral-toned design style that won’t lose its appeal due to ever-changing interior design trends.

4. Bamboo Flooring

You may already know that bamboo holds the world record for fastest-growing plant. Naturally, this makes it a superb choice for sustainable flooring material. Other hardwoods, like oak, maple, and cherry take significantly longer to reach maturity as trees. This causes devastating effects on natural habitats that are deforested irresponsibly. Choosing bamboo flooring not only bypasses this impact, but also offers the same level of durability and beauty found in other hardwood materials.

5. LED Lighting

This is an easy one – making the switch to LED lighting can offer up to 600% more energy efficiency compared to using incandescent bulbs.   

6. Energy Star Appliances

As with radiant heat flooring, switching over to Energy Star rated appliances does present considerable costs up front. However, depending on your household’s size and energy consumption, these appliances will often pay for themselves over time. An Energy Star washer and dryer, for example, can save homeowners an average of $67 per year when compared with less efficient models.

7. Ditch the Paper Towels

While none can argue that paper towels offer a huge convenience (especially for busy families with small children), the paper waste adds up over time. This makes them a thoroughly unsustainable option. Instead, consider installing a dedicated rack for reusable cloth towels. Minimize cleaning time and effort by keeping a small laundry bin nearby to hold the towels until ready for washing.

8. Rethink Your Compost Bin

Getting into the habit of composting can be a challenge for many homeowners. Typical compost bins are unattractive looking and prone to smelliness, making them unwelcome in otherwise attractive and clean-smelling kitchens. One solution to this conundrum is the Blanco Solon kitchen compost system. This bin offers a recessed countertop design that keeps it almost completely out of sight, as well as a snug-fitting lid that minimizes the offensive odors that accompany decaying organic material.


Looking for a sustainably-minded remodeling contractor in Portland or Beaverton? Get in touch with us for a free quote on your upcoming renovation.