Designing an outdoor kitchen can be an exciting project. When choosing design materials, furniture and other elements consider environmentally friendly products and solutions. Creating an eco-friendly outdoor kitchen can be simple, elegant and affordable.
Fuel-efficient grills. The grilling unit is the main component of an outdoor kitchen. Keep it eco-friendly with a fuel-efficient model. For gas grills, consider infrared grills, which use about 25 percent less gas, saving money and natural resources. Infrared heat will sear your steaks to perfection and still leave your veggie kabobs deliciously crisp and tender. If charcoal grilling is your preference, opt for the Big Green Egg, a kamado-style cooker. It’s very fuel-efficient, using 100% natural lump charcoal made from unused log sections and recycled wood.
Green countertops. Green countertops are made from environmentally friendly or recycled materials. Consider a beautiful recycled glass countertop: these green options mix colorful pieces of recycled glass into a resin base, cement or concrete. A countertop also can be stained to match your outdoor kitchen’s décor. Another option is choosing end-grain bamboo as a countertop material. Bamboo is a sustainable material that brings a stunning, natural look to the outdoor kitchen space.
Furniture from recycled materials. Opting for outdoor kitchen chairs, tables and other furniture made from recycled materials, helps bring your space into a “greener” zone. Companies such as Loll Designs create modern outdoor furniture, made in the United States from 100% recycled plastic.
Eco-friendly area rugs/mats. A decorative throw rug sometimes can be the perfect addition to your outdoor kitchen’s décor as a focal piece or anchor to a seating area. Tread on rugs like the ones from Home Infatuation that are made from recycled polypropylene drinking straws. They are manufactured without waste—all leftover materials are recycled into more rugs. Other options include bamboo mats that can be found in an array of sizes, designs and colors.
Earth-friendly/energy efficient lighting. Opting for CFL light bulbs or LED light bulbs can save you 75% in energy efficiency over traditional incandescent light bulbs. CFLs are compact fluorescent lights (the ones that are curly-looking) and last about ten times longer than an incandescent light bulb. LED lights can last up to 25 times longer, saving you more money and energy. Use CFL or LED lighting in over-the-counter lights or wall sconces.