While adding color to your home or business can certainly give it a facelift, we should all consider the environmental impact of the paint. From indoor painting to outdoor painting to furniture refinishing, there are different types of paint you can choose from. Paint is often considered a hazardous material and can be harmful to people, animals and the environment. So choosing wisely is important.
Tips for Environmentally Safe Paint Disposal
- Properly dispose of leftover water-based paint. You should never pour paint or any paint-related products down your household drain. Paint should be packaged correctly in a sealed container and then picked up or delivered to a hazardous material waste center.
- Latex and oil-based paints should be dried up using a paint hardener or cat litter. Latex paints can then be recycled and oil-based paints should be taken to your nearest hazardous waste location.
- Make sure if you don’t use all of the paint, you save it for another project or donate it to a church, school or a local theatre to use. This will avoid more waste.
- Allow your almost empty cans to air out and dry up before sealing them.
- Choose paints made with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – these are better for the environment. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are organic chemical compounds whose composition makes it possible for them to evaporate under normal indoor atmospheric conditions of temperature and pressure.”
- Always ensure proper ventilation when using any type of paint.
What about Motor Oil?
Another item that is a concern environmentally is motor oil. Many of us like to save a little money by changing our own oil and oil filter. This is great as long as you take care to dispose the used oil and filter properly. Motor oil can pollute our water and isn’t safe for anyone to ingest.
Tips for Environmentally Safe Oil & Oil Filter Disposal
- Used motor oil should never be poured on the ground, in any water source, in a storm drain or put in the garbage.
- Do not mix motor oil with any other items.
- Once you transfer your used motor oil to a leak-proof container, you can dispose of it at your local Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, or Wal-Mart Super Center Tire and Lube Center. Often these stores only accept a maximum of 3 gallons of oil.
- When disposing of a used oil filter, do the following: punch an air hole in the dome end of the filter and in the anti-drain back valve (if present), located at the flat end of the filter. Leave the oil to drain from both ends of the filter for several hours each. Pour this oil in with the rest of the used motor oil for recycling.