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From Floor to Ceiling: Sustainable Choices for Every Kitchen Surface

By Annie Button

Homeowners are increasingly looking to incorporate sustainability into their home décor to save on bills and reduce the carbon footprint of their home. From sourcing the right materials to purchasing from reliable, sustainable brands, there are many ways to create a more sustainable kitchen.

We’ve put together our top suggestions for products and materials that eco-conscious homeowners should consider, to create an environmentally friendly kitchen design from the floor to the ceiling, and everything in between.

A wooden kitchen countertop with a cooker and other kitchen items

Durable Worktops

Worktops are often considered the centrepiece of a kitchen. It’s where so much takes place, from where you prepare meals to where you gather with friends and family. While traditional materials like granite and laminate have long been popular choices, there are now a variety of eco-friendly alternatives that offer functionality, beauty and sustainability.

One of the most exciting developments in sustainability is the use of recycled materials (more on that near the beginning of our 8 Little Changes That Can Have a Big Environmental Impact blog). Worktops made from recycled glass, for example, are not only stunning but also incredibly durable. The glass is crushed and combined with a concrete or resin binder, creating a unique and visually striking surface that’s heat and scratch resistant.

In addition to recycled options, there are several natural materials that provide a sustainable and beautiful choice for countertops. Bamboo is known for its rapid renewability and durability, making it an excellent eco-friendly material. Certain varieties of stone, like soapstone or slate, also have a lower environmental impact than the likes of granite and marble. Look for stone that’s locally sourced and processed using sustainable methods.

A dinner party in a kitchen with wooden countertops

Sustainable Flooring

When it comes to creating a sustainable kitchen, your choice of flooring plays a crucial role. Not only does it contribute to the overall aesthetic, but it also impacts the environmental footprint of your space.

For those who prefer a classic look, wood flooring can offer a more sustainable solution. Wooden floors develop a rich patina and character that can’t be replicated. And by repurposing materials, you not only reduce waste but also contribute to preserving our natural resources.

Be sure to choose wood that’s been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) so you can be confident it’s been sustainably sourced. Our Sustainable Timber accreditation recognises products that have used woods sourced from FSC-certified forests.

Cork is another popular choice for those seeking a warm, natural look while minimising their environmental impact. It’s renewable, biodegradable, and offers excellent insulation properties. Additionally, its cushioned surface provides comfort underfoot and reduces noise levels, making it an ideal choice for busy kitchens.

Pouring out green paint from a tin

Eco-Friendly Paints

We often don’t think about paint when we think about the environment, but it’s another way to make a kitchen more sustainable. Eco paints have lower levels of Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, which are harmful to the environment and our health when we breathe them in.

However, water-based paints have fewer VOCs and are just as durable as oil-based paints, so you don’t have to compromise the look of your kitchen for the sake of the planet. Paint is not just useful for freshening up walls and ceilings but also for painting cabinets to give them a new lease of life without needing to invest in a whole new kitchen.

A couple of great paint brands include Lick and YesColours.

Brands like Little Greene also have ranges that utilise left-over or unwanted paints which are reformulated to reduce waste, for a more sustainable option.

A woman loading a dishwasher

Energy-Efficient Appliances

The focus with sustainable kitchen design is often on the visible surfaces and materials but it's equally important to consider the appliances that power your culinary activities. From energy-efficient ovens to water-saving dishwashers, eco-friendly appliances can significantly reduce your household's environmental impact and overall utility costs.

Choose energy-efficient appliances that prioritise water conservation, such as dishwashers and washing machines with features like soil sensors and water filtration systems for reuse. Front-loading washing machines are typically more water efficient, along with smart devices that are more convenient but also use far less electricity.

Similarly, boiling water taps that provide boiling water instantly without the need for a kettle will help to reduce electricity use.

Opting for eco-friendly appliances not only reduces environmental impact but also saves money on utility bills. Research and compare models to find the ideal balance of sustainability, performance and design for your needs during your kitchen renovation.

A light kitchen with white countertops

LED Lighting

An environmentally conscious kitchen involves choosing lighting that sets the right tone but also prioritises energy efficiency. LED lighting is the top choice, but you can also opt for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) which deliver consistent lighting while using less energy.

Motion sensors and timers that only come on when needed will also help to reduce energy use, lowering utility bills and minimising wasted energy.

Of course, for a truly sustainable kitchen, you should skip using artificial light where possible. Promoting natural light with the right layout and kitchen design with skylights, large windows or glass doors can help to maximise natural light in your home.

A wooden kitchen countertop with kitchen utensils, chopping boards and oils

Accessories and Decor

While the major surfaces and appliances in your kitchen play a significant role in creating a sustainable space, it's the little touches and accents that truly bring the room to life. Fortunately, there are numerous eco-friendly options available for accessories and decor, allowing you to add personal style while minimising your environmental impact.

From cleaning supplies that are free from plastic waste and chemicals, to cloths, brushes and sponges made from environmentally friendly bamboo instead of plastic, and even dish racks made from recycled plastics, the accessories and décor items you choose make all the difference to the sustainability of your kitchen.

Switching to utensils, cleaning cloths and kitchen storage made from eco-friendly lasting materials, you’ll be able to reduce waste.

A sustainable kitchen is fundamental to minimising the carbon footprint of your property and your lifestyle. Selecting environmentally friendly materials like wood, glass and stainless steel, you can foster a greener and healthier kitchen. Make sure that the materials you choose are durable and easy to maintain, without the need for harsh chemicals.

At Canopey, we offer a wide range of homeware products and cleaning supplies to make your transition to a greener home easier – take a look through our curated collections of Home & Decor, Kitchen, and Cleaning Products for a more eco-friendly home.