Green paint products
I have breathed in all sorts of oil-based paint fumes and dust, and spilled nasty chemical cleaners on my skin – and I am still alive. I have also used green painting products, like Safer Stripper, low odour acrylic paints and granola friendly wood treatments. However my complaint is that, apart from Safer Stripper, which is a great product, whilst they smell nice, “green stuff” doesn’t function or last as well as the traditional unfriendlier products.
So the dilemma is, I would rather not be exposed to products that over time could be really detrimental to my health, but I don’t want to be using products that aren’t effective, fail prematurely and end up costing me, customers (and the environment) more in the long run. So where do you find the right balance? Certainly not in the brochures of most manufacturers!
The Degree of Green Program
Let’s face it, the green market is just another opportunity for manufacturers to rebrand or relaunch their product lines, and much of the information is disingenuous. That is why (until Mythic arrived on the scene) I would not promote acrylic paints, because when you delve into the supposedly user friendly angle, the wheels fall off in an audit of the production process, where all the environmental damage is done at source, out of sight of end-users!
Fortunately, The Degree of Green program is making a concerted effort to educate the public about the truly green and effective building and paint products on the market. Over time, the work of the founder, Pate, should make it harder for manufacturers to gloss over the bad side of “green”, because the experts have analysed, compared and published the facts in plain English. They are a new venture and so far their product list is small but perfectly formed.
For US painters, there is SafeCoat from AFM.
Safecoat® products go much further to protect your health. In addition to meeting the highest standards of environmental responsibility, we also eliminate toxic ingredients such as solvents, heavy metals, chemical residuals, formaldehyde and other harmful preservatives.
Our products are structured to literally create a “safe coat,” with a unique molecular formulation designed to seal surfaces (from wood to metal to concrete, carpets, and much more), thus reducing “offgassing,” or the emission of toxins into your environment.
The first sponsors of the Degree of Green program make a clay plaster, a shiny roof coating and fire beads, all shining examples of useful products that actually work without killing the operatives, the homeowner and the environment.
It would be great if this project takes off and we can all get a definitive list of useful and durable products that are actually green from production to application and beyond – and work. Safecoat does claim to be friendly all through the production process, so when I next work in the US I will give them a try.
In the meantime, I have found some green products in the UK that are worth a look. Newlife Paints are recycled, which is the most effective way to not pollute. And Mythic is for sure a very clean paint and certainly performs as well as the best “nasties”!
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