Many Indiana residents pride themselves in their efforts to seek new ways of “going green.” There are countless options that come to mind when upgrading appliances and lighting, but there are less obvious “green choices” available that people may find intriguing in their quest to create the most environmentally friendly living space possible. What if I told you that one of the biggest opportunities covers nearly every space that meets the eye in a home? That’s right. Paint can be classified as “environmentally friendly” given the ingredients in the mixture itself. Eager to know how to spot the best eco-friendly options? Here are a few things to look for when shopping for “green” paint
Check Your Levels
Paints contain fungicides and biocides. They are necessary ingredients found in exterior paint, as fungicides prevent mildew and biocides are essentially preservatives to help increase the product shelf life. Unfortunately, these particular chemicals contaminate the air; and if the left over paint isn’t disposed of properly it can leak into groundwater. Because of the limited selection of specifically “green” exterior paint options, it’s ultimately the responsibility of the homeowner or professional painting company to check the levels of both on the label of the can.
Another area of focus will be the VOC (volatile organic compound) level of the paint. “Green” paints will have very low levels of VOCs. No more than 250 grams per liter in latex-based paints and no more than 380 grams per liter in oil-based paints can be used as a guideline, based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s requirements.
One way to ensure that the paint choice is a good “green” option is to look for certifications. Now some brands offer selections with a prominent seal that proudly declares products to be “environmentally friendly.” While these may be great places to start the search, it still helps to check the chemicals and find the option that represents the most sustainable choice.
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