PAINT YOUR HOME . . . GREEN
Painting your home? If you do a good job, you'll place drop cloths everywhere, apply the paint smoothly, and clean up well when you finish. But don't forget about protecting the environment. Here are some other things to consider when painting:
GOODBYE, OLD PAINT ... What about that leftover paint? Don't pour it down the drain. It's polluting - and dumping it may be illegal. Here are four things you can do to keep leftover paint out of the waste stream:
- Never pour thinners or solvents down the drain or flush them down the toilet. Put them in tight-fitting jars or cans and have them picked up or delivered to a hazardous waste disposal site.
- Paint thinner often can be reused. Over time, paint sludge settles on the bottom of the container. Pour the clean solvent off the top and use. When the thinner is gone, stuff an absorbent material (rags or kitty litter work well) into the can to dry the sludge before throwing the can into the trash.
- Consider giving unused paint thinner or stripper to local furniture refinishing shops or paint contractors.
- If there is a small amount of latex paint left in a can, leave the can open in a well-ventilated place. When it is completely dry, the can may be placed in the trash.
- Place all solvent covered rags and newspapers inside a metal container with a lid. Discard it as you would hazardous waste.
- First and foremost, buy wisely to eliminate disposal problems altogether.
- Consider donating leftovers to a local theater group, parks department, school, or organization, or take it to a community exchange. Many towns have "drop and swaps" once or twice a year.
- If you have more than half a gallon left over, try recycling it. Consider mixing several colors of similar paints together; you'll get a beige or gray color that may make a good primer. Before recycling, separate oil-based from latex paint and interior from exterior paint. Make sure cans are properly labeled.
- If you can't recycle the paint, take it to a local household hazardous waste collection site. In some areas, hazardous wastes are collected at curbside once or twice a year. For more information about collections in your area, contact your local municipal or state government.
SAFER STRIPPERS: Some paint-related products can be more dangerous than the paint itself. That's the case with paint removers and strippers, used to soften and dissolve old paint so you can scrape it off before applying a fresh coat. Some of the most effective strippers are also the most deadly. Look for products that don't re-quire gloves and clean up with water. They're better for you and the environment.
Article Provided By: Earth Share
Earth Share is a federation of America's leading non-profit environmental and conservation charities, promotes environmental education and charitable giving in workplace payroll deduction campaigns. For more information about how your workplace can host its own campaign, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (800) 875-3863.
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