If you are looking to make your home more eco-friendly, a great place to start is in your kitchen. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has created a guide to help you make your kitchen use energy and resources efficiently.
First, you can install windows and skylights in the kitchen to help clear vapors and toxins. The USGBC reports that these changes are the most energy-efficient way to clear the air.
While you’ll restrict use of the exhaust fan by using windows to move the air, you can invest in a higher efficiency exhaust fan that offers different speed options. For even more ventilation, you may choose a high-efficiency ceiling fan to help circulate air; in addition to using less energy, they are usually quieter than exhaust fans.
To lessen use of electricity, relocate your favorite kitchen work space to be near a window or under a skylight. For times when you must use lighting, upgrade to compact fluorescent bulbs or LED lighting — each are much more efficient than standard bulbs.
If your plumbing fixtures were installed before 1992, you should look into replacing them. Dated fixtures may use more water, whereas low flow models have gained popularity and are available for reasonable prices.
When it comes to your appliances, the USGBC suggests replacing oversized models with compact and high-efficiency models. Inefficient refrigerators are especially dangerous, and can account for nearly 15 percent of your home's energy demand.