The kitchen is the heart of our Sustainable House.
It is easy to use and has oodles of light and fresh air. The
big u-shaped bench makes it easy to cook in and creates an inviting space, day and night. Almost 20 years after the renovation, the kitchen has stood the test of time.
Looking closely at the appliances, the only thing out of the ordinary that you
might notice is a lot of high energy efficiency ratings but that's it. These appliances and the layout are attractive and accessible to anyone, whether they have an interest
in environmental goals or not.
Although the kitchen looks conventional, it's completely powered by either gas or solar energy. The taps and dishwasher run with drinkable water from the rain tank. Behind the scenes, the systems industriously make the energy and water from what falls on the roof.
There are also several energy-saving devices in the kitchen. For example, in the
pantry, when you open the door the light turns on and automatically switches
off when you close it. Five LED ceiling lights, individually switched, shine directly onto benchtop work surfaces. A long window with louvres running the length of
the sinks on the western wall directs sunlight onto the sinks and workspace area, reducing the need for artificial light.
When allocating space for a fridge, here are some tips:
- never put the fridge beside a microwave, cooktop, oven or other heat-making appliances
- never put the fridge where it gets sun on it (especially western sun)
- allow at least 150mm on all four sides of the fridge for ventilation
After the renovation, the biggest change in the kitchen happened just outside it. I bought two chooks and a chookhouse. The chooks roam outside the kitchen along the side passage. Competition over food scraps rages between the birds and the compost bin outside. Generally, the chooks win because it's easier to hurl leftover veggies through the windows than to put them in the compost bucket and carry that to the bin outside.
Also, when I'm cooking, the chooks lurk outside, unseen but clearly heard, their gossiping and commentary on the food preparation a constant reminder of their apparently insatiable claims. When I do throw something through to them, I'm rewarded with funny scrambling and excited squawks. Cooking is considerably more fun with these assistants!