Green Paint Doesn’t Have to be Green

When people talk about being ‘green’, the image it conjures up are limited availability and high cost. Times have really changed and green options seem to be more available and at less of an added cost. Almost anything has an earth friendly option, and it’s just a case of whether we want to find it and pay the price for it.

One arena that really has stepped up to the eco-friendly challenge is house paint. One quick way to freshen up your home has been to put a coat of paint on it, but now it can not only bring you a new look, it is also one quick way to make your home more earth friendly.

Earth friendly paint is called low or zero VOC paint. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are solvents that can be released into the air as some paints dry. VOCs have a lower molecular weight which allows them to evaporate quickly at room temperature, which is why they are called ‘volatile’. VOCs are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that readily vaporize into the air. When they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and a host of health issues including breathing problems, headache, burning, watery eyes and nausea. Some VOCs also have been linked to cancer, as well as kidney and liver damage. Whatever way you look at it, paint containing VOC’s is not a green idea.

Low or zero VOC paint is now available at almost any paint retailer you care to use. Even chain stores realize that there is a beautiful world out there and they have a commitment to protect it. Time and effort has been put into creating eco-friendly paint that is durable, natural and sustainable. The price is slightly more than regular paint, but that is evened out by the advantages of using it.

Like all things, if you pay a little more, you get better quality. Chain store natural paints are great quality and cheaper, but limited in colors. Paint specialists like Benjamin Moore are more expensive, but you can get their ‘Natura’ range of paint in every color they make – which is every color, period. Not just green! The quality of the Benjamin Moore paint also means that one coat is usually all that is needed. This again makes their natural paint more earth friendly as it uses less. It often looks better on the walls as it has a wonderful finish.

Low or Zero VOC does not mean it is odor free, but the odor is greatly reduced. It also does not mean that it takes a long time to dry. In tests, low odor paint dries as quickly as regular paint. It also covers as well, and performed as well in practicality tests. Whichever way you look at it, green paint is a great earth choice. And if you’re a diehard eco-friendly evangelist – it’s also available in … green!

Like what we’re doing? Want to share your story or tell others? Do you have a green business in Calgary and want to get in front of a large local audience? Let’s build a green community together!