Ultimate Guide to Eco-Friendly Kitchen Design

June 4, 2024
As climate change becomes more pressing, designing an eco-friendly kitchen is essential for those planning a self-build or renovation.

As climate change becomes more pressing, designing an eco-friendly kitchen is essential for those planning a self-build or renovation. By focusing on sustainable construction methods, materials, and energy-efficient appliances, we can significantly reduce our kitchen’s carbon footprint without compromising style or functionality.

Plan with Your Architect

Communicate your priorities to your architect and build team. Emphasise the importance of limiting emissions and maximising energy efficiency so they can source appropriate materials and design accordingly. Resources like Declare, from the International Living Future Institute, offer a searchable database of products detailing the materials and chemicals used, helping you make informed choices.

Embrace Reclamation and Re-Use

Using reclaimed and salvaged materials prevents waste and conserves natural resources and energy. Specialised dealers and companies like The Used Kitchen Exchange offer high-quality cabinetry and worktops at discounted rates. Consider donating your old kitchen to these companies or listing it on platforms like Freecycle.

Benefits of Reclaimed Materials

  • Environmental Impact: Reduces landfill waste and the need for new raw materials.
  • Cost-Effective: High-quality materials at a fraction of the price.
  • Unique Aesthetic: Adds character and a unique look to your kitchen.

Opt for Secondhand Solutions

Secondhand high-end kitchens and ex-showroom displays provide excellent alternatives to new units. Verify the condition of these kitchens before purchasing and consider professional dismantling and fitting services. Updating your existing kitchen with new doors and handles can refresh its look without a complete overhaul.

Choose Recycled Content

Recycling plays a critical role in reducing landfill waste and energy consumption. Many companies now offer products made from recycled materials, including cabinetry, flooring, lighting, and tiles. Look for composite worktops and cabinet fronts with high recycled content, ensuring they are recyclable at the end of their life.

Examples of Recycled Content Materials

  • Stainless-Steel Sinks: Often made from recycled materials and fully recyclable.
  • Quartz Composites: Modern designs use up to 99% natural, renewable, and recycled materials.
  • Recycled Glass Worktops: Durable and aesthetically pleasing options that promote sustainability.

Prioritise Sustainable Materials

When selecting timber for flooring or cabinetry, choose FSC-certified wood or plywood. Bamboo is an excellent alternative due to its fast growth and minimal environmental impact.

High-Scoring Sustainable Materials

  • Glass and Terrazzo: High recycled content and durability.
  • Ecoboard: Made from compressed agricultural by-products, offering a sustainable choice.
  • Foresso Timber Terrazzo: Composed of a minimum of 65% waste material, making it a highly sustainable option.

Energy-Efficient Lighting Solutions

A well-thought-out lighting plan can greatly enhance energy efficiency. Maximize natural light through rooflights and glass doors. Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs, which are significantly more efficient and long-lasting. Consider the color temperature of LEDs to create the desired ambiance in different kitchen areas. To prevent kitchen lighting mistakes, check out this article we wrote about the topic.

LED Lighting Tips

  • Efficiency: LEDs use 75-80% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
  • Color Temperature: Cooler tones for task areas, warm whites for cozy spaces.
  • Decorative Lighting: Use LED strips and tape for accents, keeping them on separate circuits or dimmers.

Partner with By Urban

For your eco-friendly kitchen renovation, By Urban offers award-winning designers who specialise in sustainable and stylish kitchen designs. Our team ensures that your kitchen not only meets your functional needs but also aligns with your environmental values. We also have an incredible showroom you can visit. Trust By Urban to transform your kitchen into a beautiful, eco-friendly space.


Designing an eco-friendly kitchen benefits both the environment and your household. By prioritizing sustainable materials, energy-efficient appliances, and thoughtful planning, you can create a stylish, functional, and environmentally responsible kitchen. Embrace these ideas to lower your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.

FAQs on Eco-Friendly Kitchen Design

What are the benefits of an eco-friendly kitchen?

It reduces your carbon footprint, lowers energy costs, and promotes healthier living.

How do I start an eco-friendly kitchen renovation?

Contact By Urban and tell the team your eco-friendly priorities and choose materials and appliances that are energy-efficient and sustainable. Check out our kitchen renovation portfolio.

How can I make my kitchen lighting eco-friendly?

Use natural light and replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs.

How do green technologies help?

Energy-efficient appliances and water-saving devices reduce your kitchen’s environmental impact.

Does buying locally matter?

Yes, it reduces transportation emissions and supports sustainable practices in your community.

How can By Urban help with my renovation?

By Urban’s award-winning designers create stylish, sustainable kitchens tailored to your needs.


hidden storage kitchen
hidden storage kitchen

Take a look at By Urban's Kitchens Porfolio!

Kitchens are a space that require careful consideration and planning to ensure it reflects your personal style while also being functional. Take a look at some of our award-winning Adelaide kitchen remodels & renovations.