In a world where the environment is becoming more and more of a worry, you wouldn’t think decorating had much impact. Think again though – you’d be surprised what nasties can lurk in a standard tub of paint. Go green and use eco paint to save both the environment and yourself.
What is Eco Paint?
Did you know that a normal tin of paint may contain formaldehyde, heavy metals and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)? What does that actually mean though? VOCs are gasses that are released from a liquid or solid material – these are what make some paints smell really strong.
The EU introduced strict rules on VOCs a couple of years ago, so paint manufacturers have had to work hard at finding ways to produce paint without those harmful chemicals. However the replacements aren’t always good. Titanium Dioxide is an ingredient which is often used as a whitener in paint, but it’s a controversial substance that should be avoided if possible.
There are eco paints and eco paints. Some are produced with a low carbon footprint in mind, but may still use synthetic chemicals. Some may use natural ingredients, but take them from animals rather than plants. Plant-based, water-based paints are the kindest ones to use all-round.
Why bother with Eco Paint?
You should know that it is a good idea to ensure a room is well ventilated when decorating – VOCs are why. It doesn’t stop there though, these noxious gasses can continue to be released for up to five years after you’ve finished painting.
So if you want to avoid getting high next time you do some decorating, aim for a water-based paint. Good eco paints are completely VOC-free. At the very least, a natural solvent-based paint is more likely to smell lemony-fresh than offensive and harmful.
It’s not all about you though. Companies which create plant-based, water-based eco-paints are also much more likely to be aware of how their processes affect the environment. Packaging, energy consumption and transportation are all things that have an impact on the footprint of a paint, and all things that should be considered by a good eco-company.
It used to be that eco paints were hard to get hold of, awkward to use, expensive and of questionable quality. However, in recent years awareness of the environment has moved forward so much, and eco paints have moved forward with it. At least one range of eco paints are available in many large DIY stores now, and if you shop online you can find a wide range of companies offering eco solutions.
They may be a little more expensive than conventional paints, but eco paints are now available in a huge range of colours and finishes, from standard matt emulsion to gloss and satinwoods. You may think you won’t be able to find a wipeable, hard-wearing paint that’s eco-friendly, but you’d be surprised.
Where can I get them?
If you are interested in purchasing and experimenting with these paints there are several companies out there that specialise in eco and environmentally friendly paints, they are as follows:
aglaiapaint.co.uk - German in origin and use only natural ingredients. Their paint can be applied to metals, timber, interior walls etc.... and come in a range of differenrt colours. Also allows you to mix your own paint colours
biofa.co.uk - Created from sustainable and natural materials they specialise in cleaners, stains, varnishes and gloss and emulsion paints
ecosolutions.co.uk - Manufacturers of paint and varnish remover, artex remover, hand cleaner and degreasing products. All water based
ecopaints.com - Produce completely solvent and VOC free paints for floors, woodwork and walls. Huge range of colours available plus the ability to match to existing colours
earthbornpaints.co.uk - Paints are petrochemical free and water-based and also carry the EU eco-label flower accreditation. Range of differing colours available
auro.co.uk - Made from only natural ingredients and utilising a sustainable ecological cycle and petrochemical free