Eco friendly kitchen design
Designer Oliver Heath offers practical tips on greening your kitchen.
If you're worried by reports that vinyl can give off toxins, try linoleum - which is made from natural products such as linseed - cork and wood, with a Hessian backing.
Cork (in tile form) is a renewable material, hard wearing and easy to clean.
Find out more from the Healthy Flooring Network.
If new cabinets aren't made from solid wood, make sure they use chipboard - wood chips pulped and bonded together. This is generally considered to have the lowest levels of formaldehyde (which is carcinogenic) of the manufactured boards. Chipboard can also be recycled at the end of the cabinet's useful life.
Work surfaces made from 85 per cent recycled crushed glass, encased in a non-toxic coloured resin, can look spectacular - try Eight Inch.
A solid wood work surface will give a long lasting and beautifully warm natural feel to your kitchen.
For splash backs, how about using coloured recycled glass tiles? Try Bottle Alley Glass.
For a contemporary look, why not try surfaces and furniture made from wonderfully coloured recycled plastics - visit Smile Plastics.
Low-energy lights in the ceiling for casting a general light last 10 times longer than conventional bulbs.
Over work surfaces short, compact, low-energy fluorescents are less wasteful than halogen downlighters.
There are energy saving appliances such as fridges, freezers, washing machines and dishwashers that save you money in the long run.
A long guarantee (up to five years) suggests the appliance is built to last.
Tables and chairs
Consider buying older pieces at a boot sale, market or antiques dealers.
Old chairs can also be freshened up with a lick of paint or a new fabric cover.
You'll find it handy to have a bin for separating cans, plastic, bottles, paper. Contact your local council for details of its doorstep collection or nearest recycling depot.
Compost organic waste for use on your garden - reducing the need for peat, which is cut from the ground.
Compost bins are often available free - or at a discount price - from local councils; contact yours for details.
Eco friendly kitchen
Read our tips to save energy and save money in the kitchen.
This is based on an article from Earthmatters, Friends of the Earth's supporter magazine. Join us to receive your copy.
© Stephen Pennells