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  • Apollo Joinery Group

How Sustainability is Shaping Kitchen Design in Sydney

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Once upon a time, sustainable kitchen design was thought of as an expensive luxury that was out of reach for most homeowners. But in 2023, it’s never been easier to design a kitchen that’s friendly to both the environment and your budget.

From utilising responsibly sourced materials in your cabinetry through to purchasing energy-efficient appliances, there are a lot of small decisions that you can make throughout the kitchen design process that can have a significant impact on the environment.

We’ve compiled some of the ways that homeowners are embracing sustainable kitchen design in Sydney.

Choosing materials

The foundations of an eco-friendly kitchen are also the structural foundations of your space – the materials used in your design.

Things to consider when choosing what to make your cabinetry and benchtops out of include:

  • How the material is made or harvested

  • Where the material is sourced from, and what it costs to transport it to your home

  • How long the material is expected to last

  • Whether it can be recycled down the track

Many mass-produced kitchens will utilise materials like MDF to construct cabinetry, which are known to contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Released gradually over the lifespan of the material, these compounds can be harmful to your family’s health and may aggravate existing respiratory issues.

Partnering with a kitchen manufacturer who sources their materials from ethical suppliers will also help to ensure you aren’t perpetuating harmful practices. Ask your manufacturer how their suppliers practise responsible forest management and whether they hold Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody certifications to ensure they practise sustainable kitchen design.

If you are renovating your existing kitchen, consider whether any of your current materials could be repurposed. Even something as small as repainting and repurposing your cupboard doors can reduce the environmental impact of your renovation, along with the costs, too.

Maximise natural light

Depending on the positioning of the kitchen within your home’s floorplan, you may be able to harness the power of natural lighting to reduce reliance on artificial illumination (and reduce your electricity bills, too).

If your kitchen has a boundary wall to the exterior of the home, add windows along the periphery to allow for as much natural light as possible into the space. If you need to claim the wall space for cabinetry, replacing the wall or splashback between the upper and lower cabinetry with a window can be a clever way to make the best use of the wall.

When windows aren’t an option, skylights can also help to introduce light into the space. All of these options can also help to promote ventilation and airflow through the space, crucial for any kitchen.

By prioritising natural light as part of your sustainable kitchen design, you reduce the need for additional lighting in its place.

Opt for smart appliance choices

Appliances have come a long way in the last 10 years, so it’s important to familiarise yourself not only with the latest technologies on offer but also modern energy efficiency rating systems to make the best choice for your new kitchen.

Firstly, ask yourself whether your kitchen could be solely electric. Gas is a non-renewable energy source, and appliances using this for power are usually less efficient than their electric counterparts. If you have solar panels installed, it’s another reason to consider getting rid of your gas connection.

Induction cooking is a great option here – not only does it run solely from electricity, but the cooktops sit far closer to the bench profile than a traditional unit. They don’t pose a risk of burns, are perfect for families with young children, and don’t require the same degree of ventilation as a regular cooktop either.

For your other appliances, take into account the relevant energy efficiency rating. Not only does this measure the impact on the environment, but this rating also can reflect consumption rates. Making a smart choice here can drastically reduce your bills over the years.

Taps are rated for their water efficiency, too. Some options can vary in output by tens of litres a minute – which can add up to a lot of wasted water.

These are just a few of the many ways you can incorporate sustainable kitchen design into your upcoming renovation. Working with a designer who’s experienced in sustainable design practices will help you to create a space that’s kind to both the environment and your budget – if you’re not sure where to start, they can help to highlight areas in which you can reduce your impact.

Our team of experts have created numerous sustainable kitchens in Sydney and would love to help you too. Contact us for a consultation today or visit us in person at one of our showroom locations for a chat.

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