Choosing the eco-option has often been seen as a luxury by many building designers because of perceived higher cost. That’s no longer the case when it comes to paint. The number of manufacturers producing Certified Low-VOC and natural paint products has increased to the point where they have become competitively priced.

That’s great news for consumers and the environment because it means that there is virtually no reason to keep using products that contain high levels of toxins. It also shows that most manufacturers are making efforts to reduce their impact on the environment.

Builders and consumers should choose premium products that have been independently evaluated for their environmental impact, and now there are plenty of readily available options. These are indicated by the Good Environmental Choice ‘tick’. Alternatively, consumers can choose products that disclose their full ingredients.

There will always be cheap paints available, but they don’t last and are a false economy. Recoating because of low durability increases their real cost. If they cause health issues due to toxic fumes they add even further costs, both financial and personal.

Many painting contractors still charge extra to use sustainable products, but consumers and builders can get competitive prices by choosing an Accredited GreenPainter. Accredited GreenPainters make eco-painting affordable, because they understand the benefits of using these paints, such as improved working conditions for their employees, and better air quality for their clients.

Daniel Wurm is Managing Director of GreenPainters, a non-profit certification program providing training, consumer information and skills to promote environmentally preferable coatings technology.

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