What is Ecological Sustainable Design (ESD)?
The International Interior Designers Association (IIDA) defines sustainability as: A state or process that can be maintained indefinitely. ESD or Eco-friendly design can touch every element of design, from low energy lighting, natural paint, energy star-rated appliances to products that are low-waste and recyclable.
Interior Designers today have a responsibility to be mindful of what products they are recommending to their clients and promoting products, manufacturers and services that have sustainability in mind. At Corbridge Interior Design we consider every element of your design and make smart choices for both you and your planet.
Sorting the nice from the nasty!
It will come as no surprise that conventional paints contain many ingredients that are neither good for our health nor the environment. Over the years there have been regulations throughout the globe imposed by governing bodies (like the EU) on the levels of harmful chemicals that a can of paint may contain. However even with these regulations in place a conventional can of paint still contains formulas that can inflame medical problems such as asthma and allergies – not to mention the offensive smell that can cause headaches and dizziness. Fortunately there has been a lot of progress in making Eco-Friendly paints the ‘conventional’ paints of the future. But a word of warning! Not all paints being touted as “Eco” are what they say on the tin.
One of our favourite Eco-Friendly Paint suppliers at Corbridge Interior Design, Earthborn Paints, have included on their website a bunch of FAQs describing how the paint industry tends to loosely use such terms as ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ which can be misleading to the consumer. They advise that “many traditional, natural ingredients in paint can also be hazardous. Think about lead and turpentine (derived from trees) which are either banned or controlled because of the harmful effect on health and the environment.”
For a designer, choosing “Natural” paint should generally mean considering paint made from natural non-toxic materials, such as clay, chalk or milk (casein).
The Guardians guide to eco and natural paints.
The Decorators Notebook guide to negotiating the Eco-paint minefield.
Earthborn Paints FAQs
ECO-DESIGN INFORMATIONAL PAMPHLET
Eco paint can refer to both the ingredients found in the paint, as well as how the paint is manufactured.
Did you know that ‘paint manufacture is second only to automobile production in the amount of toxins released into the environment’ (source: The Decorators Notebook blog). Companies such as, eicó paints, which are manufactured in Iceland and Sweden, are manufactured to exacting environmental standards, using 100% geothermal or hydropower energy, making the production process carbon positive.
Below are some helpful links to some wonderful alternatives to conventional paint.
In the UK:
(Did you know that Mini Moderns recycle waste paint destined for landfill! They “reprocess waste water-based paint to create a premium grade matt emulsion with a lovely coverage and a chalky finish”.)
www.naturalpaintsonline.co.uk for 100% natural German made Aglaia paints.
www.eico.co.uk manufactured in Iceland and Sweden to exacting environmental standards
When you have finished painting, why not donate your left over paint to a worthy cause:
The best bit:
Paints made with Eco-friendly materials such as clay paint, are a designers delight as they provide amazing effects throughout your spaces. A truly natural material like clay will respond to the varying sunlight and artificial light in your rooms as different pigments are highlighted and reflected during different times of the day.
As Eco-friendly paint becomes more and more popular, the array of available colours is growing every day. So you can have your desired colour, without the nasty smells and potential health issues that come with conventional paint.