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 Eco Faux-cus 

Paint is everywhere – it covers and protects most everything on our planet.  [Think cars, bridges, homes, tech toys, office equipment, planes, etc. – paint is truly one of the most underrated and unappreciated materials in our world today.]  Due to its overwhelming use, scientists and chemists in the coatings world are constantly looking to lower the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paint to reduce the environmental damage they create. 
In the early days of paint, products were alkyds.  Alkyds were solvent-based and the formula was usually 20% solid paint and 80% solvents (such as mineral spirits).  Also, paint products were lead-based.  Lead is a heavy metal that was found to be toxic in the 1950’s and was finally banned in 1978.  In fact, our federal government estimates that 25% of the homes in America still contain hazards from lead paint and related products.  Latex paint was created (using the relatively safe titanium dioxide) and a whole new era for paint was ushered in.  Some of our modern paint formulas contain less than 1% solvent – and the most common solvent today is water.  These innovations led to the diminishing effects of VOCs. 
However, alkyd based and high VOC products still abound in the paint and faux finishing markets.  When paint dries, the VOCs evaporate and form with the nitrous oxides in the air to create pollutants such as smog.  Inevitably, this forms increased health risks and overall air quality concerns.  Using low/zero VOC products was a main goal for Garay Artisans when the company started implementing a more eco-friendly approach to running the business.  We started with an energy audit while putting together additional goals:

Buying green (i.e., recycled, recyclable, refurbished or natural/organic)
Implementing an eco-approach for the office (i.e., Smart Strips, CFL lightbulbs, safer cleaners)
Lowering carbon emissions (carpooling, buying a hybrid company car, buying carbon offsets)
Becoming paper-free (i.e., website instead of brochures, using scrap paper for printing, creating computer-based files instead of paper files)
Using low or zero VOC materials (i.e., water-based, natural and low odor products)

We are far from being “green” perfect, but as our company learns more about social and eco-responsibility, more changes will come.  As Ghandi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.    
Great words for a business to live by.


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Garay Artisans, Inc. • Extraordinary Faux Finishes • Orlando, Florida
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