It's becoming increasingly common knowledge that certain products you might have in your home aren't all that environmentally friendly. This is leading to a gradual decrease in the availability of these products, some of which might be obvious in their potential to harm the environment, whereas others of them might not be. Australia already has a voluntary ban on plastic microbeads in beauty products (with the onus on retailers to stop stocking the products in question), and the European Union is set to ban many single-use plastic products, such as plastic plates, cutlery and drinking straws. You can obviously choose the environmental credentials of what goes into your home, but unless you built it yourself, the eco-friendly qualities of your actual home are largely beyond your control. Luckily, you do have control over the environmental friendliness of certain aspects of the physical dimensions of your home when it's time to paint it.
The Definition of Environmentally Friendly Paints
The concept of environmentally friendly paint is a rather broad one, with a similarly broad definition. While many paints offer varying degrees of ecological soundness, it's a question of carefully examining the details provided (on the manufacturer's website or on the paint container itself) or giving your chosen painting company a list of your requirements and hoping they have recommendations for you. What are some of the key factors that can make a type of paint environmentally friendly?
- A lack of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can result in harmful emissions from the surface of the paint, in addition to a lack of any metals or harsh chemical agents (such as formaldehyde) contained within the paint.
- A lower amount of petrochemicals (or an absence of petrochemicals altogether) and natural (as opposed to synthetic) solvents.
- Whether the paint's manufacturing process was carbon neutral (or at least resulted in a reduced rate of carbon production than standard paint).
When a Compromise Might Be Necessary
You might want to opt for the most environmentally friendly paint you can get your hands on, but this is not always going to be the most appropriate action. A waterborne paint made with plant-based derivatives can be an excellent choice for interior painting, but when used in exterior painting, the results might be less than satisfactory. Exposure to the weather can mean that the paint would need to be reapplied within a shorter timeframe than expected, and exterior paint in certain parts of Australia (those with a high level of humidity) can benefit from the addition of a synthetic fungicide to deter the growth of mould and mildew.
Research, as well as some minor compromises, might be necessary when it comes time to paint your home in the most environmentally way you can manage. Contact a professional to help you decide what paint to use for exterior and interior painting.