by Carly Foubert, CFICE Communications RA

Paint cansMaybe you’re planning on redecorating or redoing your house this coming new year, have you thought about purchasing eco friendly paint? Many brands of paint contains a lot of chemicals, chemicals that are labeled volatile organic compounds, or VOC for short, that are release toxins into the air when the paint dries. This can potentially cause health problems and harm the environment.  According to the  EPA, indoor air pollution is one of the top 5 hazards to human health and three more times polluted than outdoor air.  

So, why not try to limit air pollutants inside the home? There are some paints that claim to have low VOC or are VOC free, both will be labeled on the can of paint so be sure to do your research and read carefully before you decide.  Here is a quick list of 5 Low VOC paints.

paint cans and a brush

© Lowe’s

There is also the question of what to do with any paint that is left over once everything is complete.  How do we dispose of excess paint? The EPA estimates that 10% of paint purchased each year is discarded. If you haven’t started decorating yet, consider checking out Benjamin Moore’s Paint Calculator purchase a more accurate amount of paint required for the job.

If sealed correctly, latex paint can last up to 10 years and oil-based 15 years in case you should ever need to retouch the paint job.  If you don’t have room or a safe place to store cans of paint its best to recycle or give it away.  See if your local Habitat for Humanities or reuse store will accept donated paint or you could share it to a freecycle group online to see if anyone would interested.

If that doesn’t work, Lowe’s Hardware store accepts paint to properly recycle and dispose of.