12 October 2009

R3project round-up 2: the Kitchen

Our kitchen is an open one, and forms part of the living room, because we like to cook with our friends around.

The kitchen area is defined by a change of flooring. The cork floor of the rest of the apartment gives way to funky green and white tiles. We tried hard to find some local tiles made from recycled TV screens, but because the company went bust, we decided on some local colourful tiles by TAU Ceramics, whose effort towards sustainability we appreciate.

The kitchen cupboards are made from recycled wooden wine boxes, carefully assembled by our amazing carpenter Rodrigo Diaz. The countertop is solid FSC-certified, untreated wood from IKEA. The same goes for the central piece of furniture called FÖRHÖJA that serves as storage and extra work surface. As a storage solution for the upper parts, we chose GRUNDTAL, fully recyclable stainless steel shelves from which you can also hang things like pots and pans. We prefer this system to cupboards for both aesthetic and practical reason, plus they are made from a minimum amount of materials.

As far as saving water is concerned, we installed a very special low-flow tab by Tehsa. We are still trying to fit in a dishwasher, as “the dishwasher uses only half the energy, one-sixth of the water, and less soap, to boot”, according to one study at the University of Bonn in Germany. However, as you can read in 'dishwasher versus hand washing' on TreeHugger, the situation is not as black and white. We are also looking for a water filter to drink the currently not very nice tasting water from the tab and stop buying plastic bottles. This has turned out to be a difficult mission, any tips are appreciated!

We also try to use as less energy as possible. CFL lights illuminate our kitchen, and all the necessary electric appliances such as the fridge, oven and cooking surface, are A+ energy efficient.

Of course you can’t have a kitchen without the food. Our fresh produce comes in a box every 2 weeks: 10 kg of locally grown, non-chemically treated vegetables and fruit from Recapte. All leftovers are fed to the worms in our compost bin on the balcony. To serve ourselves meals, we use fully recyclable glass plates.

Last but not least, we like to clean green. Most of our eco cleaning products are mixed together in the kitchen, or at least stored under the sink.

R3project round-up 1: General Installations at Home
R3project round-up 2: the Kitchen


Sean said...

We use a carbonator from Soda Club (SodaStream): http://www.sodaclub.com/. It replaced the bottled sparkling water we were buying, and the bubbles seem to mask some of the flavor of tap water -- so that's an option to consider if you like sparkling water.

Thanks for chronicling your projects -- your ideas are great, and I enjoy reading about them.

Sumjoy said...

Wine corks would've been good knobs for the kitchen cabinets.

Barbara said...

I love your creativity and environmental outlook. I am in the U.S. and looking for a stove/oven that is free of the chemical sprays on the sides. It's on most or all of newer ovens and allows you to self-clean. The chemicals are nasty when you use the feature and I personally wonder what is released from the walls when you just cook foods at a moderate temp. There must be some amt of outgassing, just like when you use teflon pots. What is your oven brand and is it available in the U.S.?


Willemijn said...

I use a water filter from doutonusa.com. In the tropics they all use these, counter top, using ceramic filters. I poor rainwater in the top and very slowly the bottom fills up with clean water, excellent. (I am in no way involved, so not making publicity).