How to determine what products are eco-friendly, and which products are just in it for the money.
“Going green” can refer to anything (such as a product or service) that inflicts little to no harm onto the surrounding environment. Going green also goes by terms such as eco-friendly or environmentally friendly, or only by the word “green.” For many, going green is important in protecting the environment from further damage. For others, such as dishonest companies, “going green” is just another cash cow.
Those who are seeking out environmentally friendly products for remodeling a home will need to be prepared to spend a little extra cash. Eco-friendly paints, for example, are only a few dollars more per gallon than traditional oil or latex based paints. However, they are safer and last just as long as oil or latex based paints. Therefore, many believe they are worth the extra cash.
What is Eco-Friendly Paint?
Anyone searching for eco-friendly paint or paint products should check the label to be sure. Many companies are marketing “eco-friendly” products that are not truly friendly to the environment.
Paint that is truly safer for the environment will emit little, to no, volatile organic compounds (also known as VOCs.)
What are Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs?
VOCs are chemicals and chemical compounds that are commonly found in traditional paints and paint products. These chemicals are harmful to people, animals, and especially the environment.
Volatile organic compounds have been shown to cause asthma as well as various other respiratory problems, nausea, and dizziness. In addition to this, prolonged exposure has been shown to cause various types of cancer.
What Makes a Paint Eco-Friendly?
As of June 2009, there are no standards that have been set for acceptable levels of volatile organic compounds in eco-friendly paints. Currently, the EPA limits VOCs to 250 grams per liter for traditional paints.
Those who are seeking out greener choices should look for paints that emit less than 100 grams per liter. There are also products that do not emit any VOCs, however, those often cost significantly more than paints with lowered levels of VOCs.
Where to Find Eco-Friendly Paints
Today, many companies are jumping on the eco-friendly product wagon and producing greener products, this includes paint companies. Those who are looking for environmentally friendly paints will be surprised to hear that many major brands such as Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams have produced a line of eco-friendly paint and paint products.
Going green can be a rewarding experience. Always check labels when considering purchasing a product that is marketed as eco-friendly.