Another Eco-Friendly Option for Decorating: Nontoxic Paint

6 04 2009

There are other eco-friendly decorating products besides lights made of recycleable materials.

Strong River, based out of Vancouver and New York City,  is one of many companies that create non-toxic paints.   The paints  produced by Strong River contain natural pigments and have  zero VOC’s (volatile organic compounds).

According to the company’s official website, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that  the off-gassing from architectural coatings is estimated to account for about 9 percent of greenhouse emissions over urban centers.

It is important that you know that according to the EPA test for low VOC paint, any paint with 250 gallons or less of VOC’s can be called low-VOC paint and that while the base may be zero-VOC, the colorant may not be.

Sherwin Williams, a more famous paint manufacturer than Strong River, produces  a collection of  three eco-friendly paints entitled “Green Sure” products.  The company uses sustainable raw materials,  like soy and sunflower oil, in its paints and according to the company’s website, they have also “streamlined national distribution processes, helping to conserve fuel, energy, and other natural resources.

Here’s a list of the company’s eco-friendly paints:

Duration Home-Interior Latex– According to the Sherwin Williams website, this paint is formulated to be low in odor, resist mildew, and have lower levels of smog-producing pollutants, a type of VOC.

photo of Duration-Home Interior Latex, courtesy of Sherwin Williams

photo of Duration-Home Interior Latex, courtesy of Sherwin Williams

Harmony Interior Latex– This paint is low in odor and contains zero VOC’s.

Harmony Interior Latex- photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

Harmony Interior Latex- photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

E-Barrier- This is an energy efficient product that creates a reflective barrier when applied to underside of an attic roof decking.

E-Barrier paint-photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

E-Barrier paint-photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

Doesn’t this information make you want to paint green?


For the First Time, EPA Will Regulate Greenhouse Gases

23 02 2009

After many years of discussion about global warming, the  Environmental Protection Agency will finally act to regulate greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

When I heard about this, my initial reaction was  to wonder  what took the EPA so long.

According to a recent New York Times story, the Bush  administration ignored a Supreme Court order requiring the environmental agency to determine whether or not carbon dioxide is a pollutant that endangers public health and welfare.

The fact that the  Bush administration seemed to completely ignore one of the most urgent issues of our time makes me very angry, and I’m somewhat baffled as to why they did so

Was  the  administration ignorant as to the urgency of this issue? Or do they simply not care?

I think the answer is the latter of the two. Environmental issues were never at the top of Bush’s agenda. He  always seemed to be more concerned with issues such as the war on Iraq.

Obama, on the other hand, has  voiced his concerns about the environment from the very beginning. According to his official website, he hopes the U.S. will be able to reduce its greenhouse emissions 80 percent by 2050 and to create millions of green jobs.

It is  suprising that even those most concerned about greenhouse gas emissions are wary of the EPA’s regulation, who say that the Clean Air act wasn’t designed  to regulate “ubiquitous” substances like carbon dioxide, according  to the New York Times.

The EPA’s decision is expected to take a few months and could accelerate the progress of energy and climate change legislation in Congress.