As Americans become more interested in spending time outdoors with loved ones, outdoor kitchens are becoming essential in architectural design. 34% of homeowners said they would prioritize a cooking/dining space when remodeling their backyard. And 68% of architectural designers include outdoor kitchens in their projects.
If you are doing an outdoor space remodel, consider going eco-friendly. This will not only protect your family’s health, and conserve the environment, but it can also be great for your wallet as you save on water and electricity bills.
Keep reading for some tips on how to create an eco-friendly outdoor living space.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
If you know that you need to purchase a particular item for your eco-friendly outdoor kitchen, first go to all the freecycling or upcycling websites like Craiglist, Kijiji, and others. On these sites, you can buy second-hand or used items from folks who barely used them once or twice.
Not only will you end up saving hundreds of dollars on building your new kitchen, but you can also help protect the environment, so these items don’t end up in the landfill polluting the earth for a long time to come.
Have recycling boxes in visible view when building an eco-friendly outdoor space, so your guests don’t thoughtlessly dump recyclables into the garbage. Everything that can be recycled should be placed in the green bin.
If you have the space for it, why not build a compost bin in your backyard? This way you can create great compost from all your vegetable scraps and other organic kitchen waste.
Choose Eco-Friendly Materials and Lighting
Whenever you choose any item for your eco-friendly outdoor kitchen, make sure they are made of eco-friendly or sustainable materials. For example, when choosing rugs for your outdoor space, then pick materials like jute, bamboo, or sisal, that are sustainable.
These eco-friendly textiles will help bring nature into your outdoor space. At the same time, they will help you avoid exposure to additional chemicals due to the traditional dyeing or manufacturing process.
Also, there are lots of great options available nowadays for eco-friendly lighting. Avoid any older halogen lighting, and always go for LED or solar outdoor lights.
In addition, add motion sensors to your outdoor space. This way your lights will only turn on when your family members are out there using the space. There’s no point leaving these lights on all night or all day long, wasting money and valuable resources.
Purchase Eco-Friendly Appliances, When Possible
Do you wish to add an outdoor cooking range or a BBQ to your outdoor kitchen so you can cook to your heart’s content while enjoying time with the family? Well, there are ways you can go green with this as well.
Look for electric or gas barbecue grills over charcoal ones, as these are cleaner and produce less pollution. You can also purchase solar ovens nowadays that will use no electricity or power from your home, just pure natural sunlight. This way you can cook as much as you want, without worrying about your environmental footprint.
Also, when choosing appliances, it’s better to pay a bit more now for quality. If you purchase lower-quality appliances, they might break down soon and you will have to replace them at an additional cost.
Also, clean your appliances regularly so they last longer. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to take care of them as well.
Sustainable Patio Furniture Is Key
If you are going for wood patio furniture, then make sure the product has independent certification that it was grown and harvested in a sustainable green fashion. Teak and eucalyptus are two popular green options that you could consider. Of course, this might mean that your patio furniture might end up being a bit more expensive.
But teak is known for its long-term durability, so once you purchase this furniture, you will probably own it for a long time to come. So thinking long-term here can save you money.
Consider stainless steel, synthetic wicker, and aluminum patio furniture as well. Seek out local, independent manufacturers. This way you can support local family-owned businesses, and you can avoid long-distance transportation carbon emissions.
Going Green with Hardscapes and Ground Cover
Finally, there are many ways of going green when choosing hardscapes or ground cover. When choosing non-living hardscapes, like artificial grass, you will save money on water bills as you don’t have to water these regularly. Also, you won’t have to worry about your grass going brown or having to pay expensive landscaping fees.
There are also other low-water, low-maintenance grass alternatives like mulch, gravel, bark, and wood chips. They are easy to keep looking good, and only need to get replaced every 2 years.
If you have children running around all day long, then having both grass and a bit of gravel could be a good combination. This way you can even build a basketball court for your family to enjoy in the summertime.
Your choice for ground cover will depend on the design that you’ve chosen for your outdoor space. So think about that first before choosing specific hardscapes.
Outdoor Kitchens Are Exploding in Popularity
There’s a very good reason outdoor kitchens are becoming so popular with American homeowners. Who doesn’t want to have a great outdoor space to hang out in with family, friends, and guests? It’s the penultimate American dream.
If you are located in San Antonio, Texas, and wish for some help in building your outdoor deck, then contact us today. We are excited to help you build the best outdoor area possible. One that your family and friends can enjoy together.