Terms like ‘green’ and ‘eco-friendly’ have become buzzwords. You find them on the web, hear them on talk shows and commercials and even read them on product packaging. More and more companies are creating products and services with eco-friendliness in mind and many people are taking steps to reduce their ecological footprint. Painting is inherently eco-friendly as it renews and extends the life of whatever receives the new coat of paint. However, there are other ways we can make our painting projects more earth-friendly. The following are some tips for keeping your paint project eco-friendly.
- Use what you’ve got and/or borrow: Before you buy supplies, look around your home. Can you use old sheets to protect furniture? Old towels and/or T-shirts can be used as rags. Ask your neighbours/family/friends if they have canvas drop cloths, brushes and/or rollers you can borrow.
- Skip the disposable supplies: Invest in the highest-quality tools you can afford. Opt for canvas drop cloths, a heavy-duty roller and tray and sturdy brushes that you can clean and use again and again.
- Use natural paintbrushes made from renewable resources (bamboo, recycled aluminum, corn, Hala, animal hair).
- Buy only what you need: To significantly reduce waste, make sure you don’t overbuy when you shop for paint. Use your manufacturer’s coverage calculator to figure out how much paint you need for your project.
- Use low and/or zero VOC paints: Volatile organic compounds are harmful to human health. Choose low or no VOC paint. “Zero” means up to 5 grams of VOCs per liter and “low” is up to 50 grams per litre.
- Consider milk paints: Milk contains a protein called casein that’s responsible for keeping the pigment and paint solution together eliminating the need for VOCs. These paints guarantee a cleaner indoor environment. The only drawbacks; they come in powdered form (making it more difficult to use) and a limited number of colours.
- Try reflective paint to save on energy costs: Sun reflective paints and roof coatings help deflect the sun’s rays, saving money and energy when cooling your home.
- Undertake eco-friendly paint disposal: Never dump unused paint, solvent and/or paint thinner down the drain or toss it in the garbage. Chemicals from these products seep into the soil and leech into the waterways causing harm to the environment. Ask friends/family/neighbours if they can make use of your leftover paint. Keep a small jar of your paint colour for touch-ups, then donate your paint to local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity or offer it for free on Craigslist and/or Facebook. If you have dried up paint or paint that has started to deteriorate, save it for a hazardous waste day (check with your municipality for dates). It will be taken to a special facility and disposed of safely.
- Carefully choose your painting contractor: Look for a contractor that takes pride in offering eco-friendly services and products. Ask about their environmental footprint; water usage, waste disposal, transportation choices, recycling practices.
Everyone needs to paint their building (residential and/or commercial) sometime. Making eco-friendly painting choices contributes to environmental conservation. Keep in mind these tips next time you reach for a can of paint or call a painting contractor.
Interested in a painting company that can assist you with eco-friendly painting? Call the Calgary painting experts, Cal Res Coatings at (403) 835-4817. We’re a residential painting contractor that strives for quality, has an eye for detail and colour, and will not rest until your job is done to your satisfaction. Request a free quote today.