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11 Feb 2020

Using Sustainable Paints

Once you have got the kitchen tiles sorted for your Kent home you will want to get on with completing the paint work on the rest of the kitchen.

With conscious and sustainable consumption buzzwords for 2020 for everything from interior decorating through to travel, you may want to consider what you can do to improve the sustainability of your home.

Using sustainable paints is one way of doing this, but what exactly are sustainable paints?


They can be thrown away safely

One of the biggest problems paints poise is their disposal. Even if you calculate very accurately the amount of paint you need, there is always going to be a little bit left in the tin and this is an environmental disaster.

The paint itself is made from chemicals that can be highly polluting if not handled correctly so, it is important to dispose of them appropriately.

Water-based paints can be washed down the sink, but other paints, such as oil-based gloss paints need to be disposed of at your local council’s local paint disposal unit. You should be able to find out where that is on your council website.

This means the easiest solution of all is to just use water-based paints where possible.

There are some notable exceptions to this rule. Little Greene is a company that has been producing paints and dyes from naturally derived sources for over 200 years and they make their oil-based paint out of sustainable vegetable oil sources. It will still need to be disposed of safely (i.e. not down the sink) but is unlikely to cause much harm to the environment when you have done so.


They are low VOC

VOC stands for volatile organic chemical and the European Union started to clamp down on their usage.

This is as VOCs are damaging to health, they can cause everything from respiratory problems through to cancer and paints give them off for a full five years after they were originally used. The amount of VOCs people are exposed to increases 1000-fold immediately after a home is painted.

People with pre-existing conditions, pregnant and nursing women, small children, and other sensitive people are at particular risk.

Better yet, look out for pains that state they pass the European Standard BS EN 71-3:1995, also known as 'Toy Paint Regulations' – these are proven safe from toxic metals. 


Sustainable packaging

If possible look for paints that use sustainable packaging. For example tins that are made out of recycled metal, or those that minimise the use of plastics in their packaging.

The onus is on you to use painting tools that are reusable rather than throw away products that are popular


Look beyond paint

You will also want to consider the wallpaper you use. Is it made out of sustainable paper and are the pigments used in that safe and sustainable? Similarly, think about the manufacture of your tiles and see if you can find out more about the sustainability of these products.