“Greener Every Week” is my ongoing series in which I do one (cheap, easy) thing every week to make my home or lifestyle more healthy & eco-friendly.
Man, this greener every week post is two days late – bad me! But I have an excuse – I’ve spent the last three days painting my parent’s new place (and I’m not even done yet!). The good news is it let me try out a no-VOC paint, which I’d heard a lot about but haven’t ever gotten around to trying myself. I’m using the new Benjamin Moore Natura paint, and it is awesome! It really is virtually odorless, which is good because this is a small place and I’m painting almost every surface, so it would be pretty stinky around here right about now. It also goes on super smooth and evenly, and just generally makes me happy about painting.
I’ve only tried this one, but using a no-VOC paint is important both for the environment and for your health. For the environment, standard paint is the 2nd largest source of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the atmosphere, right after cars. It also can get those chemicals into the drinking water if you don’t dispose of it properly (and I think we all know that even if you throw away the buckets correctly, brushes and rollers still get rinsed down the drain a lot).
For your health, the chemicals in paint have been linked to cancer, respiratory problems, and all sorts of other ailments. Of course, most of us have been living around painted walls for our whole lives and are mostly fine so I wouldn’t think this needs to be something to freak out about, but if you have a choice, it seems like it’s nice to opt for less chemicals in your lungs. And did I mention it’s practically odorless! So cool.
I can’t endorse them all personally (because I haven’t tried them all), but there are several no-VOC paints on the market. They do tend to cost a little more, but the extra 10-15 bucks a gallon hardly seems like a bad trade in exchange for not breathing toxic fumes. And in the case of the Natura paint I’m using, it’s way nicer to paint with than the cheap-o basic stuff. Here’s a few of the no-VOC paints available:
So I know it’s not something you do every day, but when you do get around to painting your home or some other projects, keep it in mind as an easy thing to do for yourself and the environment!
As a quick aside, I’d also like to recommend this Purdy brush as an awesome tool for edging – I think I can even say it’s a “greener every week” recommendation because it has prevented like 5 rolls of masking tape from being wasted – I have been able to do all the edging and cutting in freehand with this brush! I’ve always been super cheap (I know, I know, you’re shocked) when it comes to painting supplies, but after using quality paint and brushes I’m pretty sold on the investment being worth it.
Note: Nobody has paid me in any way to endorse these products, I just genuinely like them and want to share my enthusiasm with you. If you click the link and buy them from Amazon I’ll make like 37 cents through their affiliate program, so that would be sweet, but that’s the only compensation happening around here.