eco-friendly paints victoria

The Impact of Eco-Friendly Paints on Indoor Air Quality & Health: A Comprehensive Guide

It’s no secret Victoria, BC is becoming more conscious about the impact our choices have on the environment. We’re recycling more, we’ve got bike lanes, and we’re making an effort to buy products that are local and eco-friendly.

But there’s one area of our lives that’s often overlooked when it comes to being green—our homes. More specifically, the paint we use on our walls. Are you using eco-friendly paints?

While traditional paint products often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and release toxic emissions into the air for years after application, they’re slowly being taken off the shelves at most paint retail stores. And keep in mind you tend to inhale toxic paint while you’re applying the paint.

It even affects your furry family members!

These toxic emissions are found to cause a range of health problems, from headaches and dizziness to liver damage and cancer. And that’s not even mentioning the negative impact they have on indoor air quality.

So, what’s the solution? Eco-friendly paints. These paints are made with less harmful ingredients and contain little to no VOCs, making them a healthier choice for our homes and our bodies.

Xico Enterprises Inc. is here to make sure you’re informed, and feeling safe.

Eco-Friendly Paints – The Connection Between Indoor Air Quality, and Your Health

1. Understanding the Differences Between Traditional and Eco-Friendly Paints

Before we get started, keep in mind almost every paint product you buy at Sherwin Williams, Dulux, Cloverdale Paint, Ben Moore and Home Depot in Victoria, BC are low or zero VOC. It’s regulated that retail paint stores comply with environmental legislation.

Before you select the paint for your interior spaces, it’s essential to understand the key differences between traditional and modern eco-friendly paints:

  • VOCs: As previously mentioned, traditional paints often contain high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be harmful to health and contribute to air pollution. Eco-friendly paints have low or zero VOC levels, significantly reducing their impact on indoor air quality.
  • Natural ingredients: Eco-friendly paints use natural, renewable ingredients instead of petroleum-based components, which are common in traditional paints. These natural materials can include plant-derived resins, essential oils, and pigments.
  • Certification standards: Green Seal and EcoLogo are two reputable certification programs that help consumers identify eco-friendly paint products. Look for paints with these certifications to ensure they meet stringent environmental standards. 

2. Types of Eco-Friendly Paints

Various types of eco-friendly paints are available on the market, offering a range of features and benefits. Here are the main categories:

  • Low VOC Paints: These paints contain fewer VOCs than traditional paints, reducing their impact on indoor air quality. They are a good place to start if you’re wanting to make more environmentally conscious choices, but they may not be the greenest option.
  • Zero VOC Paints: True to their name, zero VOC paints emit virtually no volatile organic compounds, providing an even healthier and more environmentally friendly option. However, it’s essential to verify the absence of VOCs in colourants as well, as adding tints to some zero-VOC base paints can increase their VOC content. (Benjamin Moore Eco-Spec paint and colourant is zero VOCs with zero emissions.)
  • Natural Paints: Manufactured from a range of organic materials, natural paints offer the most environmentally responsible choice. They are biodegradable, compostable, and made from sustainably sourced ingredients. Examples of natural paints include milk paint, clay paint, and lime paint. 

3. Benefits of Eco-Friendly Paints

Choosing eco-friendly paints for your interior spaces offers a multitude of benefits that extend beyond protecting your health and the environment. Here are some additional advantages:

  • Enhanced indoor air quality: By reducing or eliminating VOC emissions, eco-friendly paints contribute to a healthier indoor atmosphere. This can help individuals with lung and respiratory issues, allergies, or chemical sensitivities – which seems to be on the rise.
  • Seamless repainting: Since green paints don’t produce strong odours or require extensive ventilation, they can be applied without disrupting your home life. You can repaint one room at a time or take on a whole-house makeover with minimal inconvenience.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Eco-friendly paints come in all colours and finishes (sheen levels), allowing you to achieve the desired look without compromising on quality or appearance. With advancements in paint technology, such as Benjamin Moore Eco Spec, these products provide equal durability, coverage, and aesthetics as traditional paints.
  • Enhanced property value: Embracing eco-friendly practices throughout your home can increase its value, as more buyers seek environmentally conscious properties. By choosing green paint products, you’re making a long-term investment in your property’s appeal and long-term health.

4. A Few Tips for Selecting the Best Eco-Friendly Paints

Here’s a few pro-tips when choosing the right eco-friendly paint for your project. (Visit our top 8 Exterior and Interior painting trends for 2024 blog)

  • Research: Investigate the various types of eco-friendly paints available and select the one that best aligns with your environmental values, budget, and preferences. If you need any help, you can call 250-479-2444 and we’ll be happy to assist you.
  • Certification: Look for paints with Green Seal or EcoLogo certification to ensure they meet strict environmental and health guidelines. As mentioned before, almost all retail base acrylic latex paints are certified.
  • Colour and finish: Remember that some zero-VOC paints can introduce VOCs when colourants are added, so select tinted paints with care and verify their VOC levels.
  • Consult a professional: Work with a knowledgeable painting contractor like Xico Enterprises Inc., who can provide expert advice and recommend the most suitable eco-friendly paints for your specific needs.

Eco-Friendly Paints: A Game-Changer for Indoor Air Quality

It’s high time we bid adieu to paints laden with harmful chemicals and embraced the green revolution in the painting industry on Vancouver Island and throughout Canada. After all, our health and the health of our planet are intertwined, and every small step towards sustainability counts! So, let’s paint our spaces green, from Sidney to Langford, BC and breathe easy knowing we’re contributing to a healthier, more sustainable world.

As a full-service interior and exterior painting company in Victoria, BC, Xico Enterprises Inc. is committed to delivering expertise in eco-friendly paint selection, helping you make informed choices that benefit your family and the planet. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover the advantages of eco-friendly paints for your home improvement project!

We service Vancouver Island – from Nanaimo, to Duncan, down to Victoria and all the way to Sidney.