Kitchens are a great place to start if you’re looking to make your home greener or more energy efficient. From windows, to appliances to cabinet refacing there are so many things that you can do, both big and small, during your kitchen remodeling process that can make your kitchen more beautiful and environmentally sound. Here are some ideas.

Windows and Skylights

By replacing old kitchen windows you can easily save a bundle in heating costs this winter. Old windows often let in a great deal of air and drafts that you may not even realize. Another idea is the installation of skylights. Skylights are not only stylish but they allow for more natural sunlight so that you don’t have to use your overhead lights which saves energy and cost.

High Efficiency Compact Fluorescent Lights

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, the easier the process is the better. For a big difference in aesthetics and efficiency consider your lighting options. Not only are standard fluorescent lights terribly outdated but they also create poor lighting in your kitchen which can make everything look shabbier than it is. By replacing old outdated fluorescent lights with compact fluorescent lighting, not only is it four to five times more efficient than incandescent lighting, but it offers much better lighting for the most important room of your home.

Reface or Refinish Cabinets

The look of your cabinets plays a large role in the look of your kitchen. If your cabinets are outdated or shabby you may want to consider cabinet refacing or refinishing. The process is much more inexpensive then totally replacing your current cabinets and not only that but it keeps your current cabinets out of the landfill. If you’re happy with your kitchen’s current layout you can refinish or reface your current cabinets for a fraction of the price and end up with a fabulous and chic look.

Energy Star Appliances

Energy-efficient appliances not only look great and save you money in the long run but they save the environment by reducing pollution and greenhouse gases generated by energy production at power plants. You can go to the Energy Star website to learn more about Energy Star appliances and where you can purchase them.

Replace Plumbing Fixtures

If your plumbing fixtures were installed before 1992, then it’s high time to replace them. If you have had your current fixtures for as long as you can remember not only are they more than likely outdated but probably pretty inefficient. Old fixtures are water hogs and usually leak which can waste a lot of water and money. Consider low-flow products that let you easily control water use.

By making these simple changes you can ensure that the end result of your kitchen remodeling project will look beautiful and help the environment.