Painting a house or business can be exciting as well as tiring work. What colour to choose, what paint, budget and who will do the painting are all considerations when planning a painting project. Another consideration, in being greener, should be ‘how green is my paint?’ Conventional paints can be highly toxic and very bad for the environment, as well as our health. Painting contractors are proven to have a higher risk of certain cancers, and frequent exposure to the chemicals can even cause genetic damage and increased likelihood of miscarriage.
Here’s a few tips to think about about when choosing eco-paints:
- Choose paints made from renewable or highly abundant sources, such as ‘natural’ paints made from plant oils and minerals
- Choose interior paints that have zero VOCs content (VOC = volatile organic compounds)
- Choose paints that have suitable durability for your project – for example, a heat-reflective paint will last longer than a clay paint on exteriors
- Choose independent eco-labels that evaluate the manufacturing process – Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA), for example
- Use heat-reflective paints on exteriors to increase a building’s energy efficiency, cut cooling costs and offset carbon emissions
- Make sure all paint choices comply with Section ‘J’ of the Building Code