New kitchens that are always more ecological and economical
Kitchens are no exception to the ecological trend imposed on all new buildings. While this part of the house may seem quite remote from this type of concern, it is not. Ergonomics, household appliances, furniture: everything is a potential source of energy savings and sustainable development. Riding on this trend, many labels allow the purchaser to ensure the energy performance of appliances, as well as the ecological origin of furniture.
Ecology in the kitchen, from floor to ceiling
An ecological kitchen consists above all of furniture made of sustainable materials, such as wood, stainless steel, glass and aluminum. These are all part of “eco-materials”. These natural materials with a very low carbon footprint are characterized by limited or zero emissions of greenhouse gases. The coverings of furniture, walls, ceiling and floor are also important. Many coatings are composed of toxic solvents, diffusing “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs). These VOCs in confined spaces saturate the air with particles that are harmful to residents and the environment.
It is therefore better to favor coatings without toxic, natural or water-based solvents. Furthermore, in order to avoid the stagnation of all the particles present in a kitchen, it is necessary to adopt an efficient ventilation system. Two types of ventilation exist: the VMC and the extractor hood. The first, compulsory in all new homes since the early 2000s, brings fresh air into the room, and the most sophisticated recycle the ambient air. The latest generation extractor hoods are fitted with an ozone lamp that consumes very little energy and recharges the indoor air with oxygen.
The other determining factor concerns the choice of household appliances, with an obvious tendency towards less energy consuming ones. In this particular ecological perspective, the must is called the GreenKitchen . Designed by Whirlpool and installed by chef Schmidt, the “green kitchen” is composed of a refrigerator, an induction hob, an induction oven, and a dishwasher.
In addition to the already economical hob and oven (50% less energy consumption for the latter), the GreenKitchen operates in a closed circuit. The heat produced by the refrigerator is thus reused to heat the water in the dishwasher. It's hard to be more ecological, but the performance is indexed to the price: count 1,600 euros only for the induction oven, and 4,000 euros for all household appliances.
Ecological traceability labels for the kitchen
In the forest of acronyms and other labels surrounding the kitchen, one of the most important from an ecological point of view concerns the energy consumption of household appliances. Introduced in the early 1990s, the famous “energy label” sheet relentlessly tracks down the most energy-consuming devices, from the most efficient class A to the most undesirable category G. This principle of energy efficiency has become predominant since the end of the 2000s in purchasing choices, correlatively with the legislative strengthening of ecological standards. In fact, the plug system gradually spread to air conditioners, household electric lights, and finally to cars.
Other labels are directly oriented towards the origin of the furniture. “NF” kitchens designate a list of 20 ecological criteria surrounding the wooden furniture used, from the choice of species to final recycling. In a similar perspective, the “PEFC” labels (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and “FSC” labels (Forest Stewardship Council) assure the buyer of the origin of the wood used for the manufacture of furniture, from sustainable forests. .
The objective of these labels is to fight against deforestation and to participate in the preservation of primary forests. These, exploited by man since the dawn of time, disappear a little more each year. If their exploitation does not cease quickly, primary forests could completely disappear by 2020.