If we care about the environment, we must be more self-reliant and take jobs around the home onto our own shoulders. By doing things ourselves and from scratch we can reduce our carbon footprints and become more resilient – more able to weather the changes that are coming from the changing planet. But are you aware of the cost to the environment of some common DIY products? Some products commonly used in homes are damaging to the local aquatic environment and can also make our own home sanctuaries less safe and more unhealthy. Annie Sloan Chalk Paints are a safer, less polluting option that can help lead you towards more environmentally friendly DIY projects.
Paints are a common product used in peoples' homes. But not all paints were created equal. Many of the paints that you find in DIY stores are not friendly to the environment. If you care about your planet then it definitely pays to do your homework. It is important to read the side of the tin when buying paint and to understand what it means.
Many of the paints commonly used to paint walls or to upcycle old furniture and other items for the home contain toxic substances that are damaging to human and animal life. Older paints contained lead and though this is now rare, some paints still contain a range of toxic substances. Some water-based paints contain ethylene glycol, a solvent. This is a substance that has been classified as a Toxic Air Contaminant (TAC) and Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP). Annie Sloan Paints do not contain this damaging pollutant.
Annie Sloan Wall Paint and Chalk Paint for furniture projects are very low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These VOCs are chemicals that evaporate or sublimate from a liquid into the air, contributing to air pollution and reducing air quality. Not all VOCs are dangerous or damaging but some, like formaldehyde, which is commonly given off by paints, are bad for the environment and for human health. Certain VOCs, though not acutely toxic, can cause long term health effects which are difficult to measure. Symptoms are often slow to develop and so it can be difficult to determine the true impact of VOCs. Annie Sloan Paints are odour free and VOCs are not a problem when using them, which makes them a good choice for anyone concerned about environmental air quality in their home
Paint is not the only DIY product that can be damaging for the environment. Every time you purchase a material or product, you should think about where it came from and how it has been treated. Timbers, for example, may not be environmentally unfriendly in their own right but they may have been impregnated with all sorts of polluting and toxic chemicals. Choose reclaimed products wherever possible and consider natural, healthier alternatives to wood treatments, glues and preservatives. For example, linseed oil can be used to protect and bring out the natural colouring and grain in wood and you could stain it using natural dyes such as coffee.
There are plenty of ways to make your home more environmentally friendly and healthy. Being informed about the various products you use and materials you bring into your home is the first step in the right direction.