Green painting, cheaper and easier than ever

Issue 23 Words: Anna Cumming

Green painting is cheaper and easier than ever so ensure that your next paint job is kinder on your family’s health and on the environment.

Since Sanctuary covered green painting in Issue 16 it’s become even easier and cheaper for your next paint job to be kinder to your family’s health and the environment.

Green painting not just about VOCs

Sustainable product technology is improving all the time, and paints are no exception. The highest profile issue with conventional paints is their incorporation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are released as the paint dries and often for a long time after. VOCs have been linked to a range of health problems, and also contribute to atmospheric air pollution.

According to Daniel Wurm, managing director of GreenPainters, in the last two years acrylic paints reformulated to be zero VOC have become more readily available, and low VOC modified paints are more affordable. The definition of what a low VOC paint is varies between organisations.

However, Angela Petruzzi of natural paint supplier Livos Australia cautions that when talking VOCs, it’s not just about the number on the tin. She would like to see a requirement for the full disclosure of paint ingredients. “People need to be aware that the term [VOCs] covers a wide range of chemicals, and not all of them are regulated, especially if each is present in very small amounts,” she explains. “Even with low VOC paints, people with chemical sensitivities should delve into the precise ingredients before buying.”

Of course, the environmental impact of paint is about more than VOCs, with ingredients made from non-renewable petrochemicals and manufacturing processes with heavy environmental footprints. Natural paints, made largely from plant-derived or highly abundant and often renewable raw materials, generally have a low impact on health and on the environment in regard to their production, application and disposal. Natural paint ranges are expanding, and although they are still more expensive than conventional paints, the gap is narrowing.

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Cover of Issue 23
You can read more about Green painting, cheaper and easier than ever in Issue 23 of Sanctuary magazine.

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Sanctuary: modern green homes is Australia’s premier magazine dedicated to sustainable home design. More...

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Did You Know?

Up to 60 per cent of the water used in an average home is used outside.

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