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Paint is a liquid mixture used to decorate all sorts of things such as walls, ceilings, doorways, paintings, etc. Hence why a five year old with paintbrush equals danger! There are usually three 'ingredients' to paint, comprising of binder, diluent and additives. Many people enjoy painting, but are concerned about the amount and type of chemicals that are used to produce paint. It also requires a lot of energy to manufacture paint, and can produce up to ten tonnes of waste for every tonne of paint produced!

Natural/Eco paints

Natural and eco paints mean you can still decorate your home without having to worry about the chemicals. More and more companies are manufacturing these paints as people become increasingly aware of chemicals and toxins, which can harm both your health and the environment. One major hazard from paint is VOCs - Volatile Organic Compounds. These are not only bad for the environment, but also cause health problems too. Many paints now carry a VOC rating on their tins (this was a voluntary move by manufacturers a couple of years ago). It is obvious to go for one with a low VOC rating. Although some low VOC paints are high in other chemicals such as alkyl phenols and vinyl resins which can cause heath problems. But not all VOC's are bad for the environment. Some VOC's include alcohol and citrus oils - so VOC ratings are helpful, but don't include information like that. Titanium is harmless, but how it is manufactured is an environmental concern, as the production process uses so much energy.

Organic paints need solvents like standard paints, but use plant oils rather than petrochemical products. Check out these alternative paint suppliers:

Auro Organic Paints - importers of natural organic paints
01799 543077

Ecos Paints - odourless solvent free organic paints
01524 852371

Nutshell Paints - natural paints
08700 331140

And if you have any left over, don't pour it down the drain! It can be recycled. Alternatively, why not donate it to Community RePaint for reuse? Community RePaint has been supported by ICI Dulux since the start but is now also supported by The Big Lottery Fund. Community RePaint schemes collect usable paint for redistribution to community and voluntary groups, charities and individuals in social need. So, instead of being wasted your old paint can do some good both socially and environmentally.

For more information on either donating paint to a scheme or receiving paint if you're a charity or community group go to www.communityrepaint.org.uk give Vicky a call on 0113 200 3959 or email repaint@swap-web.co.uk

Alternatively, if you organise a group, let us know and we will happily feature it here on Junkk.com.

And while you are thinking about painting, have you thought about alternative organic home care? Check out this article below for further information:

Organic Home Care

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