Faucets: Low-Flow is the Best Way to Go
(images via: ecofabulous, joe shlabotnik)
Faucets that let you control the volume of the water, or make it super easy to turn them on and off, can help conserve a whole lot of water in the kitchen. The SmartTouch by Brizo can be turned on simply by tapping anywhere on the faucet once, and turned off by tapping it twice, so you’ll be much less likely to keep the water running in between rinses. This design also allows you to operate the faucet without contaminating the knobs with dirty hands.
Another great choice for conserving water is the simple addition of an aerator to any faucet. Cheap and quick to install, aerators can reduce water flow to 1.5 gallons per minute without affecting performance.
Flooring: FSC-Certified, Bamboo and Recycled Glass Tile
(images via: starcraft custom builders, trendier)
When it comes to kitchen flooring, you need something that’s durable, water-resistant, and preferably non-slip. FSC-certified hardwood, which has come from sustainably managed forests, is a popular choice, as is sustainable bamboo (look for manufacturers that don’t add formaldehyde to their products, like EcoTimber and Teragren.) Cork is another great choice as an easy-to-clean, renewable material that is also naturally mold resistant. And though linoleum doesn’t sound green at all, real linoleum – that is, the material made from linseed oil – is all-natural.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful choices for a green kitchen floor is recycled tile. Recycled glass tiles are available in virtually every color and finish you can think of, and you can mix-and-match different styles to create a totally custom look. It’s also a great choice for a backsplash.