ECO-SENSIBLE GREEN PRACTICES
Today “Green” is trendy and large corporations use it as a sales pitch to take advantage of unassuming consumer. Everyone suddenly became the Green contractor! It is nice and responsible approach to have concerns about environment, but sales pitches aside,How much do we REALLY know? What practices are true green practices and what are hyped up hysteria? Consumers are more educated than ever but what are the sources of that information? Every manufacturer and contractor today wants a slice of a growing Green market.
We do respect and support the direction of making products that are healthier for the environment. Painting by definition is unhealthy occupation and none of us would mind to make your home and our work environment less harmful and VOC free, but“Nature” of painting is to fight the impact of “mother nature” and its phenomenas like oxidation, tannin leeds in wooden substrates, acid rain, UV rays, moisture and wood rot to name a few.
The problem with “green ideas “as such is, that a great deal of them are poorly conceived(try to seal tannin bleed with that Eco primer!), there are no universal standards, scientific facts or verifiable proof to substantiate the claims, except certain cases when people are suffering from asthma or are allergic to solvents or chemicals. Some substances in paint are not VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) but very harmful (Acetone or MEK for example not considered VOC!!!) .There are literally hundreds of additives that can be mixed into final formulations depending on a purpose of coating, but there is no long term safety data for the great deal of them.
What about the repaint cycle? Can the low VOC paint manufacturer give you an assurance and guarantee that paint will last 15-20 years? For the most part, you know the answer….By painting 3 times or more during the same time period won’t we end up emitting the same if not more (from cleaning tools and such) amount of VOC into the atmosphere and harmful additives that go into the ground and wastewater? Baseboards and doors painted with oil based product will last for up to 30 years. Can the “soft” Green Paint give you the same result or it has to be reapplied every other year in order for product to look good? What is washability of green products? Can it (painted surface) be scrubbed without burnishing? What is the hide and coverage? Is it going to take 5 coats of green product (think semi-gloss base here!!!) to accomplish the task? Of course, manufacturers will tell us what we want to hear, but remember they are in BUSINESS OF MAKING PROFIT by selling their product and green products for some reasons are not cheap (you guessed that one already!) …Again, how to check validity of claims without spending quite a bit on green paint and labor? Can we find useful info from reading Blogs? Unfortunately, Idea of quality is very relative and often is a rather personal opinion. Carefully considering all above information we promote ECO-Sensible green practices which in our opinion would be as follows: Buy quality tools that last, efficient and using less paint (like Airmix). If it is feasible to use Greener product –use it. Combine trips, use less fuel, and drive more fuel efficient car. Recycle if possible. Create less waste, because the less resources you spent- the greater positive environmental impact.
And the most important: Use common sense! Don’t be duped. Otherwise the only green product we end up with will be your hard earned “greenback” in the pocket of a savvy Green salesman!