Traditionally the kitchen is the focal point of any home, and it is often the first place that homeowner’s seek to renovate with intentions of increasing the equity of their home.  While green kitchen renovations typically cost between 10 and 25k dollars, they really do result in immediate economic return through lowered utility bills and will increase the value of your home when it’s time to sell.  Some may shy away from green kitchen renovations because of the costly initial investment.  It would be unreasonable to try and convince you otherwise, so instead here are some partial do it yourself renovations you can perform on your kitchen that will save you money on labor while tackling the important aspects of a green kitchen renovation.  With partial green kitchen renovations, the goal is to provide your kitchen with eco-friendly solutions that cost you less than full renovations, but deliver most of the same economical returns. 

Most of the water consumption driving up the utility bills in your home does not come from the bathroom but the kitchen sink.  The first step to creating your partial green kitchen is to replace your standard faucets with low flow aerators.  This simple product is available your local hardware.  Low flow aerators cost between five and fifteen dollars and you can install one yourself.  They come in pressure ratings ranging from 2.2 to .5 gallons per minute.  You may want to use the 2.2 gpm aerator for the kitchen so it is not inconvenient when trying to rinse off dishes.  Another option is to replace your entire faucet.  This is a little pricier but is still a cheap way to improve the aesthetic of your kitchen while cutting down water consumption.  Popular plumbing fixture companies such as Kohler and Moen offer low flow options in many kitchen faucets.  Exploiting the use of a low flow aerator or low flow faucet can reduce your water consumption up to 500 gallons of water per year.

Another aspect of a partial green kitchen renovation is replacing appliances with new Energy Star rated appliances.  A list of approved appliances can be found on the EPA website.  These appliances are also well marked in your local home goods store.  Energy Star appliances are designed to use less energy saving the environment and your wallet.  Consider buying smaller units that may require less energy to begin with.  When replacing your dishwasher look at new pull out drawer style dishwashers that save water on smaller loads. 

Without necessarily replacing hard goods in your kitchen it is easy to add to its sustainable amenities.  Make sure a recycling bin can be easily accessed in order to promote recycling.  Also, a countertop herb garden can freshen up the look and smell of your kitchen while providing you with endless spices.  Make sure you don’t forget lighting.  Many kitchens use halogen track or can lighting for over the countertops.  Consider replacing the lights with CFL’s or LED’s.