This is not an article about shades of green paint. This is an article about how to contribute, in small steps, to one of the most pressing issues of our time – going green, or in other words, reducing your detrimental impact on the environment.
We are all compelled to develop environmental awareness due to overwhelming pollution and global warming. Every human activity can be tweaked to preserve energy and go easy on the environment. Painting your household is no exception. If you don’t know where to start and you are still wondering how to make the painting process greener, here’s how.
- Choose your paint wisely
Production of paint is a part of the petrochemical industry, which involves chemical reactions between compounds that are known to be harmful to humans. Some of these compounds are released into the air as you paint and they have a detrimental effect on you, your family, as well as the environment.
These fumes are notorious for triggering asthma attacks and intensifying allergies. Some can have an even more dire impact on your health in the long run, so it’s in the best interest of you and your family to find the type of the paint that is as harmless as possible.
Try to find the best kind of eco paint that suits you, but remember – no paint is completely harmless. These batches of paint usually have a reduced amount of volatile and reactive compounds found in regular paint, but it is still toxic for your immediate environment.
This leads up to a crucial follow-up question: what to do after the job is done?
- Reuse and/or recycle
If you properly seal the paint can and put it in a dark and dry corner, it can be reused once more after an impressive stretch of time. Various “projects” can pop-up here and there – active household is in constant need of repairs and new coats of sheen. However, if you are absolutely certain you won’t need the paint in any foreseeable future, there are at least two things you can do.
1. First of all, you can give the paint to someone who needs it. It may be your neighbor or a furniture shop. Your contribution to the reduction in the use of hazardous materials might seem miniscule, but imagine what an impact on the environment this sort of “change of hands” would have if everyone did it?
2. Second, you can recycle paint. The decision to flush it down the drain is the worst possible solution you can think of. Chemicals from the paint are bound to end up in underground water via this route, which can have disastrous consequences for the environment. Instead, seal the remaining paint and deliver it to a certified hazardous waste disposal site.
- Prevention is better than cure
When dealing with metal surfaces, as fences and storage tanks, for instance, you should consider adequate measures to prevent rust from forming, because when you are removing rust, you are actually removing a piece of metal itself, aiding in the breakdown of the material, which is detrimental to the environment. If you want to protect metal surfaces that are exposed to the elements and make sure that rust doesn’t form, you’d be best advised to use quality rust converter, which will guarantee that the surface stays rust-free for years to come.
- Professionals will do it just right
As far as environmental awareness goes, you should consider professional painters who will do it fast, precisely, and without hazardous “residue” left for you to deal with. If you are still wondering why this would be the best course of action, you have to bear in mind that most of these services are, in civilized societies, trained to follow certain protocols and they are required by law to conduct their business responsibly.
There is also the aspect of frequency when it comes to painting. A professional will do such a thorough job that you won’t have to bother with another paint job for a longer period of time.
At the turn of the new century, we all have a great responsibility to bear when it comes to preserving the planet. Each of us produces a carbon footprint on the environment with almost every activity related to the household. Paint job involves the use of some of the most dangerous chemicals, which are also often handled carelessly. However, with the right frame of mind, even paint jobs can “go green” and make a small but significant contribution to leaving a cleaner world to our children.