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Social Science

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"The kitchen is the busiest room in the house." A kitchen is also a room that consumes the most energy in the whole house, about 20-40% of the home's energy use. From anything to a microwave to a refrigerator will consume valuable energy that can have a great impact on the environment. As technology grows scientists and manufacturers have researched new, ways and new products that will enforce energy savings that will not only help the environment, but will also save you money in your energy bill. As you may know global warming is becoming to be of great concern, as the earth is slowly getting warmer. In fact, the 1980s and the 1990s were the warmest decades ever, and there is no doubt that it will get worse in the 2000s. To lower the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that create global warming we must lower the energy use in our vehicles, industries, and of course homes. One of the easiest things humans can do is to adjust their energy use through not only more efficient appliances, but also how we use those appliances on a day-to-day basis. In this project, I will be designing a kitchen that is environmentally friendly, and meets the needs of the average family of three. Problem Statement- Energy Star Appliances can create a more economical kitchen. Question-What specific appliances and components create kitchen that is environmentally friendly, yet suitable enough for your average family? We need to consider each appliance that is used in a kitchen and figure out exactly the amount of energy used in (Kilowatt-hour) and the different types of energy that is available. Everything from stoves, to lighting, to household recycling can factor in to what makes a kitchen environmentally friendly. We need to take that information to figure out what specific brands and styles give us that solution. Furthermore, we need to factor in the placement, sizing and different tips that you can use everyday to lower the energy used in a kitchen. ...read more.


Tips > avoid preheating > organize meals so you can cook everything in order starting from the highest temperature needed down > after cooking a meal always use the self-cleaning feature > defrost frozen food before cooking to save the amount of time and energy needed in the oven > avoid opening the oven door, you can lose up to 20% of the heat > use quality cookware and right sizing to improve cooking efficiency Small Appliances Although you may think that small appliances are just a waste of electricity as they are used for luxury items such as coffee, they actually use so little electricity that it is not something to worry about and can actually save energy. Microwaves > When heating food, microwaves are usually the best for energy efficiency as it takes less space to heat up in a microwave than heating up a whole oven just for a piece of pizza. In fact microwaves use about half as much energy than your average electric oven and take a lot less time to cook. Microwaves also keep your kitchen cooler so you do not need to spend more money in air conditioning to cool down your house. Like the refrigerator, there are specific placements that are best for microwaves such as leaving enough space at the top, side and back for air vents and of course, enough room so the door can open. Some tips in saving energy for microwaves are: buy appropriate sized microwaves, learn where the hot and cold spots are in the microwave so you can position the food appropriately and choose a microwave with a rotating tray as it speeds up cooking. Toaster Ovens > Like the microwave, the toaster oven can also be very efficient when cooking small quantities of food. It also consumes half as much energy as a convectional oven. To make sure that the toaster oven works efficiently ensure that there is enough room for air to circulate around the appliance. ...read more.


A small skylight is also included on the ceiling of the kitchen, where sloping sides help spread out the light throughout the kitchen effectively. As an addition to the natural, florescent tube beams (2) are included on the ceiling for night use, and a dimmer switch will help to adjust brightness. Inside cabinets and drawers there are various recycling systems such as a compactor a place to store composting items that can be transferred into a composer and places for garbage and recycling bins. All insulation is made out of used newspaper, and the floor is made out of ceramic tiles, which were once glass bottles. Furthermore, the countertops are made out of 75% recycled glass bottles and 25% cement (refer to picture 7.) Overall, this solution for this kitchen proves that not only energy star rated appliances save energy, but by putting all the characteristics of an efficient appliance together, with other methods of saving energy makes a kitchen which can save tons of energy every year and can save the environment. As you can see by putting the pieces together of appliances, lighting, materials, and placements, we can create a kitchen that is environmentally friendly. We now know that Energy Star appliances can be proven to be environmentally friendly by comparing their energy use with their size and type using EnerGuide. We also know that by combining energy efficient appliances with different methods of using energy such as electric and gas can increase how well we use our resources given to us. Making an environmentally friendly kitchen is all about balance, knowing when to look at nature to help with energy and when to use human inventions to keep the kitchen practical enough for a family. But most importantly, we know the rational about saving energy in our kitchens, about why we would go to all this trouble to make an environmentally friendly kitchen. That is the global warming effect that Canada is contributing to and how we can slow it down. By making a kitchen, which uses the least amount of energy possible, we can in fact help this situation. ...read more.

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