Fresh Paint

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ivypaint.jpgIf you’ve been looking at your walls more often now that the weather is turning, and imagining what new color to paint them, there’s a new, Brooklyn-made paint that will hit the market in mid-November. Called Ivy Coatings, it comes in all the common finishes (eggshell, flat, semi-gloss, satin), can be color matched to national brands, and most importantly, contains zero VOCs.

The acronym stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, and refers to man-made chemicals that certain solids or liquids like paint emit into the air as gasses (which is a more technical way of saying “off-gassing,” another one of those green phrases like LEED-certified that is slowly seeping into the public consciousness.)

There are studies that link VOCs to respiratory problems, but the fact that the VOCs in paint include known carcinogens like benzene and formaldehyde should be enough to convince skeptics that something evil is lurking in those paint cans.

logoivy.jpgEven if this still sounds fruity to you, it concerns enough of the public–from moms, to hospitals, schools, and those who simply can’t stand the smell or the headaches they get from fresh paint–that major companies like Benjamin Moore and Sherman Williams now offer low or VOC-less lines–which is great, except they’re often limited to lighter colors and select finishes. To get the full spectrum of chemical-free paint, people have been relying for years on West Coast brands like AFM Safecoat and Yolo Colorhouse. Buying Ivy Coatings, which is made in Williamsburg, means cutting down on carbon emissions, too.

It will arrive at Green Depot in 10 days. Prices per gallon range in the mid-$30s, which is comparable to national brands.

rug2.jpgIn other good, green news: the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment has teamed up with 28 companies, from local stores like 3RLiving to national bigwigs like eBay, iTunes and Staples, all of which have agreed to donate up to 25% of anything you purchase to BCUE, so that they can fund their educational programs in schools and their popular tours of the Gowanus and Newtown Creek.

There’s no mark-up: this gorgeous Thomas Paul rug from Design Public is $270 to $1,450 whether you buy it from directly from them or BCUE. But for BCUE to get the donation, you have to buy directly through their shopbcue.org website.

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