Installing an outdoor kitchen offers several benefits for savvy homeowners. You expand the square footage of your home by building a second area for prepping and cooking food. In real estate lingo, more square footage translates to a higher home value. An outdoor kitchen also gives you more room to entertain guests, as well as more space to store common household items. Adding an outdoor kitchen makes sense (especially if you include it in your Colorado home warranty to keep everything covered) if you include plastic in the design.
Plastic has become the proverbial albatross around the environment’s neck. It simply never disappears and because of that, toxic chemicals leak out of plastic for centuries. The result has been a large increase in the diagnosis of a wide variety of diseases, including cancer and birth defects. Plastic taints our groundwater and it attracts other pollutants.
Plastic is a poison that negatively impacts our food supply and surrounding environment. Let’s see how to make your new outdoor kitchen plastic-free.
Natural Stone Countertop
What’s missing from your outdoor kitchen design? It is probably a natural stone countertop. Granite is an outstanding choice for a material, as it resists heat damage and the damage caused by dents and cracks. The beautiful natural stone countertop comes in a seemingly countless number of color and style options to match the décor of any outdoor kitchen. Maintenance-free, a long lasting granite countertop will add value to your home.
Natural stone countertop materials do not start and stop with wildly popular granite. Sleek marble is another viable natural stone countertop option. Marble comes with a high price tag, but the return on your investment is worth it. The glistening natural stone is both heatproof and waterproof to make it the ideal material for an outdoor countertop located in warm, humid climates. Unique veining give marble an elegant quality that is not found with other types of natural stone.
Rounding out the list of natural stone countertop materials are quartz, limestone, and soapstone.
Paper Trash Bags
You might not know it, but there is an ecological group called the Progressive Bag Alliance. According to the group, Americans use about five billion paper bags per year for disposing trash. On the other hand, Americans use more than 92 million plastic bags to take out the garbage. Paper is by far the easier of the two materials to recycle, which is just one reason you should consider using paper bags in your new outdoor kitchen. Of course, paper bags are easier for rats to get into, which means you need to be extra careful with your waste disposal. In a case where you feel you have a pest issue, make sure to contact a company like https://www.pestcontrolexperts.com/local/minnesota/ to deal with the problem.
Paper is Much More Eco-Friendly
It takes several centuries for plastic to dissolve in our nation’s landfills. Paper decomposes at a lighting speed rate compared to the decomposition rate of plastic. Moreover, plastic bags do not biodegrade, but instead, require ultraviolet rays to perform the decomposition process.
Research conducted by MSNBC states most paper bags used in the United States consist of at least 35 percent recycled paper. On the other hand, plastic sits in a landfill for generations as waste that offers minimal recycling benefits.
Protect Marine Life
We have a major environmental crisis, and it is called plastic in the ocean. Hundreds of miles of plastic discarded by different methods line the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii. The negative impact on marine life has been devastating, as animals like whales, sea birds, and sea turtles have suffered from immense health issues. Do our friends in the ocean a favor by designing a plastic-free outdoor kitchen.
Non-Plastic Appliances to Consider
Now, we come to the appliances to install in your stylish outdoor kitchen. The key here is to eliminate any appliance that has even a slight amount of plastic in its design. You have a wide variety of appliance options, so let’s dive into a few that are both affordable and incredibly functional.
If you plan to throw parties around the new outdoor kitchen, it makes sense to keep cold beverages within arm’s reach. This means investing in a medium size, all-metallic built-in refrigerator that can hold beer, soda, juice boxes, and water bottle. Stainless steel is a popular choice for built-in refrigerators, as the material resists impact and moisture damage to deliver a shiny appearance for years to come.
Forget the cans and bottles of beer. Invest in a Kegerator to get more bang for your libation buck. Kegerators come in a wide variety of style options, but the key is to invest in one that is 100% plastic-free. A sound material option for a Kegerator is copper, as it keeps beer refreshingly cold, while enhancing the ambiance of your outdoor kitchen.
Why lug around heavy coolers, when you can conveniently use an ice maker to keep everyone’s drinks cold. This is an especially important addition to an outdoor kitchen if you need a considerable amount of ice to throw parties. You can also invest in a portable ice maker to accommodate an outdoor kitchen that is limited in size. Just make sure to opt for an ice maker that is 100% free of plastic.
Grill and Smoker
As often the feature appliance of an outdoor kitchen, a grill and a smoker represents the perfect appliance to add other appliances around to create the ultimate culinary ambiance. Many outdoor kitchen designs include an area for a grill and a smoker. As with the other appliances, search for a grill and a smoker that do not have any plastic components.
Let There Be Lights!
Finding the right lighting system serves two important purposes. First, lighting creates the right mood for any social event. Second, it allows you to easily see everything when you prep and cook food in the outdoor kitchen. You want to find a lighting system that is not only plastic-free, but also can accomplish both the ambiance and functionality goals.
Install plastic-free lights on prep and cooking surfaces to enhance safety, as well as improve the look of your outdoor kitchen. Utilize task and ambient lighting to diversify the level of illumination you have flowing through the outdoor kitchen. Moreover, never underestimate the positive visual and aromatic impact of adding scented candles at strategic points of the custom outdoor kitchen.
[Image via: Google Images]