How Green Are Your Products?
Rising concern with climate change and global warming has created an awareness and preference to use green products. But do you know how green your products are? There are two levels to assess a green product - how it was made and its impact on the environment during and after use or application. A green product not only poses no threat to the environment or people, it also has direct and indirect positive benefits on the environment.
Rising concern with climate change and global warming has created an awareness and preference to use green products. But do you know how green your products are?†
There are two levels to assess a green product - how it was made and its impact on the environment during and after use or application. A green product not only poses no threat to the environment or people, it also has direct and indirect positive benefits on the environment.†
As an example, green coatings have a direct environmental benefit in that the coating is water based with low VOCís, no ozone depleting substances, and is non-toxic, biodegradable and Class A Fire Rated; and should be so clean that they can be applied in the presence of pregnant women and children. The indirect environmental benefit is that green coatings can turn an environmentally distressed property green.† If the property contains asbestos or lead based painted surfaces, those surfaces can be sealed in place, as with leaks that are causing sick building syndrome from mold and mildew. A green industrial coating can also green a roof so it becomes solar and heat reflective, UV-,impact-, and abuse-resistant, making it last longer. These are the greater benefits of a green coating that can recycle old dilapidated, environmentally distressed buildings and turn them green; minimizing the generation of unwanted waste that must then be transported and disposed of in our already overflowing landfills or waste storage facilities. These landfills and waste storage facilities emit heavy amounts of CO2 gasses that contribute to the greenhouse effect, global warming and climate change.†
The quality and life cycle of the product is also important to ensure it benefits the environment in the long run. A product that is sustainable, long lasting and renewable requires less natural resources to produce and lessens its environmental impact. Itís a very green coating that can rejuvenate a surface that is at the end of its life cycle, avoiding removal and replacement. A perfect example of this is roofing that at the end of its life cycle is typically torn off and replaced. With the right renewable green coating a roof now can be over coated, taking what is good about the existing roof such as the structural strength and insulation and prolonging the roof's use for an extended period of time.†
A green coating should not require solvent based cleaners, instead should clean up with water. Solvent based cleaners are hazardous to the environment and need to be properly handled and disposed of during and after use. Containers, buckets, pails and drums used to store and transport products should also be made of recyclable materials that require little energy to turn out.†
How can you be sure the green claims are true?† †A green product has testing and approvals by independent third parties. So the next time you choose a green product, make sure it's not only made green but will continue to be green during use or application and throughout its life cycle. And remember ďDonít Replace, Just Encase!Ē
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
George C. Keefe,†The Encasement Guy†is a sought after consultant, lecturer, author and writer of technical papers. He has over 35 years experience in the coatings, painting, specialty contracting, indoor environmental remediation, risk management and specification writing industries.†