There is so much talk about “green” products it’s almost impossible to know what to believe or where to start. One of the easiest ways for any of us, design professionals or not, to do what’s best for our environment and our health is PAINT. Virtually every paint manufacturer has a Low-VOC formula or two and there are a handful of Zero-VOC products available.
VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are those nasty things that give paint its odor. And that’s the good news. They are also known to contribute to climate change, human illnesses, such as asthma and cancer, and to be a cause of “sick building syndrome.” If you are sensitive odor or have allergies, Zero-VOC is a must for you.
Not all Low- or No-VOC paints are created equal. Many are thin and don’t tint well. A few of the product lines I like, mainly because of the exceptional coverage and colors are:
- Aura by Benjamin Moore – a luscious paint with fantastic coverage (some of the best I’ve seen) and available in the full BM palette of 3300 colors
- Mythic Paint – developed by a university lab, also with great coverage
- Yolo Colorhouse – available in a limited but pretty terrific palette
And yes, most of these paints are a more expensive than their standard counterparts, but the ones mentioned above are worth it because you actually use less paint, they are better for your health and that of the planet.
You’ll be hearing more from me on the topic of environmentally-friendly and sustainably- manufactured products. We in the design and building industries need to take responsibility for the waste our professions create.