Did you know that typical household wall paint is not eco-friendly? Unfortunately, so many people are unaware of the detrimental impact paint can have on our environment.
Not only that, paint can be toxic to humans and animals too.
That’s why we have put together 5 reasons why we think you should switch to eco-friendly paint.
These reasons are especially important if you’re wanting to live a fully sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Today, we’re covering how eco-friendly paint is safer for the environment, does not contain harmful chemicals, is ultra-low odour, and vegan. Even the royals use it!
Let’s dive right in!
Skip to What You Need
- 1 5 Reasons to Switch to Eco-friendly Paint
- 2 Final Thoughts on Eco-friendly Paint
- 3 References and Useful Resources
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
5 Reasons to Switch to Eco-friendly Paint
1. Eco-friendly Paint Is Safer for the Environment
First things first, we want to inform people about the fact that traditional wall paint is typically not eco-friendly.
Standard household wall paint is brimming with harsh chemicals that release toxins into the atmosphere for up to 5 years after the paint has dried.
The official term for these chemicals is ‘Volatile Organic Compounds’ or ‘VOCs’. The chemicals are a contributing factor to the greenhouse effect, which leads to global warming.
Check out this short video by greenpainters for a quick overview of how VOCs from the paint industry impact the environment:
A recent example of how global warming has had a detrimental effect on our planet is the Australian bushfires. Studies show that climate change increased the risk of bushfires by 30%.
Sadly, until we start to see bigger changes across the globe, the likelihood of natural disasters will increase and we will see more instances similar to the Australian bushfire crisis.
This is why we think every small step towards using more eco-friendly products is a step closer to lessening our contribution to global warming.
Luckily, eco-friendly paint contains minimal VOCs, making it much safer for the environment, as well as for you!
2. No More Nasty Chemicals
The second reason on our list is how exposure to the VOCs in traditional paint impacts your health, and the health of your family and pets.
The VOCs found in paint are commonly found in cleaning products, and even car exhaust fumes. They include acetone, formaldehyde, benzene, mercury and methylene chloride.
These chemicals (and many others) in wall paint, are what make typical wall paint toxic and can have some nasty side effects.
Common side effects include:
- Skin problems
- Respiratory irritation, which can be especially harmful for those with asthma
Even more concerning is that long term exposure to VOCs is believed to increase the risk of cancer, as many of the compounds are known carcinogens.
Therefore, finding an alternative that contains a limited number VOCs is extremely important!
So, how do you avoid all the toxic chemicals and nasty side effects?
Always look for ‘Low VOC’ paint, as some companies can be misleading and describe their product as ‘VOC Free’, when it is not really the case.
It is virtually impossible to remove all chemicals from your paint. They still manage to sneak in during the production process and are needed (in limited, safe quantities) to make the paint durable and long lasting.
That said, sometimes you may just want to avoid paint altogether. If you’re decorating a nursery, for example, you can consider using a nice themed wallpaper instead.
3. No More Stinky Odors
All the toxic chemicals mentioned above cause that horrible signature paint smell! If you have ever painted a wall, you know that smell and how long it takes to go away.
We all know too well that a fresh lick of paint on the walls can leave you feeling nauseous and dizzy but, thankfully, it doesn’t need to be that way!
Opting for an eco-friendly and non-toxic alternative means you can minimize these nasty smells by using an ultra-low odor paint.
This, in turn, significantly reduces the side effects of breathing in all those nasty chemicals.
Many people are unaware that the strong-smelling odors from your paint are caused by the toxins found in non eco-friendly paints.
Even fewer people are aware of the fact that these chemicals are released into the air in your home and the environment long after the paint has dried.
The toxic paint fumes can also be released when dry paint is subject to heat. This process is known as ‘off gassing’ and can be caused by radiators and direct sunlight.
‘Off gassing’ can also lead to increased odours being released when the paint is still drying. Switching to an eco-friendly, low VOC paint will help to avoid this issue!
4. Eco-friendly Paint is Vegan
Another great benefit of using eco-friendly paint is that many brands are vegan and/or cruelty free.
Many people are completely unaware of the harsh reality that standard wall paints are made from animal derived materials and many brands still test on animals.
A good way to identify this is to check whether a paint brand is displaying itself as ‘Vegan’ and by checking the ingredients. Some common non-vegan ingredients to look out for are shellac, which is made from beetles and Ox Gall, which comes from cattle.
Veganism is on the rise, as awareness has been raised regarding animal cruelty, more and more people are opting for a vegan lifestyle.
A true vegan lifestyle goes above and beyond simply not eating animals. It involves staying away from products that contain animal derived ingredients too.
There are many famous vegan faces around at the moment, some of which you definitely won’t know are vegan! Here’s our list of vegan celebrities:
- Ariana Grande
- Miley Cyrus
- Anne Hathaway
- Lewis Hamilton
- Benedict Cumberbatch
Taking a step back from the glitz and glamour, it is refreshing to see that those celebrities too, value the lives of animals and want to do their part to make a difference to making the planet a better place.
That said, just because a paint may be labelled ‘eco-friendly’, ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ this does not necessarily mean they are cruelty free. Look for brands that state clearly that they are cruelty free and certified.
Veganism comes with a whole host of benefits, firstly for your health but secondly for the environment.
Science proves that a vegan lifestyle helps with a variety of things such as:
- Water conservation
- Keeping the soil clean
- Cutting down on greenhouse emissions
- Preventing extinction of some species
- Reducing energy consumption
- Reducing air pollution
- Preserving habitats and stabilizing the ocean
- Lowering greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, especially carbon dioxide
- Fighting climate change
Changing to a vegan paint alternative is one way of committing to a fully vegan lifestyle and to go above and beyond not eating meat.
The more people who are aware of the ways that veganism can help improve the effects on the environment, the sooner the environment can begin to heal and recover.
That said, you don’t have to be vegan to support eco-friendly paints and help the environment!
5. Even the Royals Use Eco-friendly Paint
So, now that we have discussed all of the more serious reasons why we think you should switch to eco-friendly paint – we wanted to include an example of some famous faces who have made the switch!
When Megan Markle and Prince Harry redecorated of their Frogmore cottage, they used vegan, cruelty-free and non-toxic paint! It was even infused with eucalyptus to promote creativity.
If it is good enough for the royals, it most definitely is good enough for us!
Final Thoughts on Eco-friendly Paint
As you can see, eco-friendly paint is a great choice because it is better the environment, better for your health, and better for animals!
These are important things to consider in our day to day choices and choosing eco-friendly paint is a great way to stay true your sustainable and eco-friendly values.
About the Author:
This article was supplied by is Victory Colours, a business devoted to creating high-quality, eco-friendly, vegan paint.
The great thing about this brand is that their values align with ours, to be as sustainable as possible and give something back to our beautiful planet.
Not only is their paint eco friendly, but so is their packaging. This is a rarity across many self proclaimed ‘eco friendly’ brands – they may stock some environmentally friendly products, but not carry it through in their packaging and we appreciate that they do!
References and Useful Resources
US Environmental Protection Agency: Volatile Organic Compounds’ Impact on Indoor Air Quality
GreenSpec: Paint: Health & the Environment
Frequently Asked Questions
What does ‘VOC’ stand for?
VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. These compounds are naturally occurring, some examples include Formaldehyde, Benzene, Acetaldehyde, Mercury and more. Check out the full article for more on VOCs in paint and how they affect us and the environment.
What are the effects of non eco-friendly paints on the environment?
Significantly, VOCs are what contribute to pollution and the greenhouse effect that causes global warming. It is now more crucial than ever to do our bit to reduce our impact on the environment. A recent example of the detrimental impacts of global warming to our planet are the Australian bushfires that were worsened by climate change. Check out the full article for more on how paint impacts the environment.
What effect does non eco-friendly paint have on humans?
As well as having a detrimental effect on the environment, there are some horrible side effects that non eco-friendly paint can have on humans too. Some side effects include nausea, headaches, dizziness and lightheadedness. Check out the full article for more on how paint affects our health.
Is eco-friendly paint more expensive than normal paint?
The short answer to this question is yes. However, in the long term, a good quality eco-friendly paint can be more cost effective because it is less likely to need frequent touching up. A more expensive paint should be a small price to pay for a product that is better for both you and the environment.