A guide to environmentally friendly, non-toxic paint
5th November 2018
The eco-friendly paint market has grown significantly in recent years. In many ways this is great news; it gives customers far greater choice in the products available, and it means more companies are concerned with the environment by choosing to produce eco-friendly paints, which can only be a good thing right!?
However, the term ‘eco-friendly’ can also be a bit confusing. What exactly makes a paint eco-friendly? Is there such a thing as all-natural paint? And does non-toxic mean it doesn’t contain chemicals? Here we separate fact from fiction and explain what makes Earthborn’s paints eco-friendly paints.
A bit more about Earthborn…
Earthborn’s paints were developed with the simple intention of producing environmentally friendly paints that are better for the environment and healthier to live with. At that time, many paints still contained extremely high levels of VOCs and oil based, toxic paints were still the market leaders.
We made a promise, that our paints would be free from oils, acrylic and vinyl with no added VOCs and that we would keep the level of synthetic ingredients to a minimum.
Does Earthborn produce natural paints?
The short answer is no; there is no such thing as a liquid natural paint in a tin. Everything is a chemical or made up of chemicals… think about salt, oxygen and water. The perception of ‘natural’ held by most people is a positive thing – but this is not entirely accurate. People say natural when what they usually want is something healthy, wholesome and with minimal impact of the environment. That is what Earthborn paints are designed to be and that is what makes Earthborn paints different from most other paints.
All paints by necessity contain some synthetic chemicals, for instance water based paints require a preservative to keep them ‘fresh’, otherwise they would go off before it even reaches your home! Earthborn’s paints have to contain things which ideally we would not use, such as synthetic binders and a biocide. All paints in tins contain synthetic binders – but like wine ours is produced from natural ingredients. We use a food grade biocide in much reduced quantities.
Earthborn is ALWAYS open about its paints and ingredients and we NEVER call it natural. Healthy and minimal impact on the environment is the ethos enshrined in the earthborn brand.
Are Earthborn paints non-toxic?
Earthborn’s paints are completely non-toxic. When it comes to paint, non-toxic means it isn’t poisonous and Earthborn paints do not contain any poisonous ingredients. However the terms ‘non-toxic’ isn’t always helpful to consumers because it isn’t a legislated phrase.
How can I be sure a paint is eco-friendly?
While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to buying eco-friendly paint, here are some things you can check to help make a more environmentally friendly paint choice:
1. Check the ingredients
What is in the tin? We list all ingredients on our tins because there is nothing we’d hide in our paints. We know that our customers really care about the paint they put on their walls and we think that displaying ingredients is the best way to allow consumers to make informed decisions about what they are buying.
2. Look for independent accreditation and certification
If a company refers to their paint as green or eco-friendly look to see if anyone else is independently backing up their claims. At Earthborn we are proud to have been awarded the EU Ecolabel. This European award is completely independent and is based on our paints meeting the strict environmental and performance criteria of the EU Ecolabel scheme.
3. Is the paint child-safe?
Although this doesn’t prove a product is eco-friendly, it’s another way to find out how safe the paint is. Earthborn Claypaint, Lifestyle, Eco Chic and Eggshell No. 17, along with the Ecopro BS4800 range have all been independently certified *EN71-3:1995 complaint. This means they are suitable for painting children’s toys, cots and bedrooms.
4. What other eco-friendly measures are in place?
Sometimes it’s not just about checking the eco credentials of a certain product; it’s the ethos of the whole brand too. At Earthborn we’re always looking for ways to make our company practices more eco-friendly. For example, our environmentally friendly loose-fill ( that’s ‘polystyrene’ style foam chip) packaging is fully biodegradable and compostable made from sustainable sources.
To find out more, head to our FAQs or call us on 01928 734171 to discuss your project!