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Zem Joaquin's 6 Simple Tips for Greening Your Kitchen

When I embarked upon a green remodel of my home in 2006, the kitchen took center stage. I employed such energy-saving technologies as LED lighting, Energy Star appliances and a simple fan to replace the defunct AC. To save water, I installed a high-efficiency dishwasher, a foot pedal for the faucet and an on-demand water heater. I especially love our whole-house water filter, which has helped the entire family eliminate plastic bottles. Don’t get me wrong—you certainly don’t have to engage in a major overhaul to turn your kitchen into a healthier hearth, and what’s the harm in taking a few steps in the right direction—especially if wine and chocolate are involved?


Cold Comfort

Since your refrigerator is the only appliance in your home that has to run 24-7, an energy-efficient model is a must. Not only is Liebherr’s CS 2062 refrigerator Energy Star qualified, it’s also made sans lead and mercury, and comes equipped with LED lighting. Don’t your farmer’s market finds deserve a sustainable home? $5,000; Alno San Francisco, 243 Brannan St., 415-541-0754, or liebherr-appliances.com

Glass Half Full

At just $10 a bottle, Terra Sávia’s merlot proves that the good stuff doesn’t have to break the bank. The added return on your investment? The Mendocino winery preserves hundreds of acres of land as a habitat for native plants and wildlife. Bi-Rite Market, 3639 18th St., 415-241-9760, or terrasavia.com

Trip Rewards

My head’s still spinning from the new Vosges Organic Chocolate Enchanted Mushroom Bar: Rich bittersweet chocolate is studded with reishi mushrooms and walnuts for an unexpected—and addictive—flavor combination. $8.50; Chocolate Covered, 4069 24th St., 415-641-8123, or vosgeschocolate.com

Go with the Flow

The new Rohl Triflow Integrated Filtering Faucet builds the superior filter technology developed by the Swiss company Katadyn (provider of filtration products for the United Nations and NATO) right into its elegant chrome design. Now there’s really no excuse to be bottled up. $1,839; Bath and Beyond, 77 Connecticut St., 415-552-5001, or rohlhome.com

Soy Genius

Add a little color to your kitchen clean-up with hemp/soy-blend Wild Coral tea towels, by Hammocks & High Tea. Handprinted in Brooklyn with nontoxic inks, the towels are a tiny surge of tropical paradise in an otherwise fogged-in city. $15; Stem, 3690 18th St., 415-861-7836, stemsf.com

New Leaf

Created from fallen foliage, this beautifully textured biodegradable dinnerware by Verterra is the perfect alternative to petroleum-based disposable plastics. The only problem is that no one wants to actually dispose of them! $5–$11; Spring, 2162 Polk St., 415-673-2065, springhome.com

Photos courtesy of the manufacturers