How to paint respecting the environment. Is it possible to paint while minimizing our impact on nature and the environment around us? We think so, and in this guide, I’ll show you various alternatives and solutions to adopt. But let’s start from the beginning. We can no longer deny it, and the human being has had a profound impact on nature and animals: the consequences of all this are before our eyes, and we, like our children, will suffer them firsthand. But what does this mean that we have to stop painting because this activity is not eco-sustainable entirely? No, this is not the information our report wants to move. On the contrary, our goal is to attract more and more people to the world of painting and Fine Arts! In this article, we want to understand if there are ways and tricks to reduce our impact every time we paint. Often these are small actions that can go a long way.
How to reduce your environmental impact when you paint
How can we reduce our ecological footprint when we paint? The prime point is to understand if there is anything we can improve in the behaviors and habits when we work with colors and brushes. For example, are we wasting too much paper? Do we throw dangerous substances in the sink at home? Do we use liters and liters of water to rinse brushes? These are all behaviors to avoid. Secondly, we can consider the products we use to understand their actual cost, monetary and above all environmental. Here are some issues we can ask personally. First, how the color, tool, or substance we are using is produced? Is the product tested on animals or ingredients of animal origin are used in the recipe. Does the manufacturing company try to respect quality standards and limit its impact during production? Second, how do I use the product? Are there any actions I take that may be wrong or not recommended? Finally, how do I dispose of the product? Can it be differentiated or recycled?
Three things to do now to pollute less when you paint
Whether you are more or less sensitive to problems related to pollution, there are some behaviors to adopt that today should be in everyday use and that we are sure you will already know. Some of these behaviors should now be daily habits, and here we will analyze them from our passion for drawing.
Sort and recycle the products you use
We don’t accept excuses here. It was not possible not to differentiate your junk in 2020. If you still don’t, please start now. By purchasing a color, a brush, or a set of watercolors, you will produce various types of waste that you will need to differentiate. For example, the product could contain in a box or package. Cardboard or plastic? The first fundamental question arises: based on the material used for the wrapping, we will place it in the indicated container.
Usually, a “generic” product does not produce other waste until it is finished (for example, in a tube) or when it is no longer usable (for example, an old brush). Also, in this case, we must understand where it will go: is it metal, plastic, or glass? Does it still contain any color? Maybe I can open the tube and use the remaining color without wasting it (your wallet will be happy). Is it an old brush? Instead of throwing it whole, why not separate the parts, i.e., handle, bristles and ferrule, and differentiate them separately?
Do not throw thinners, solvents, and toxic substances
Do not pour solvents and diluting liquids into the sink or toilet! These products contain toxic and highly harmful substances to the environment. First of all, remember that these products, especially solvents, can be reused several times. For example, if you use white spirit to clean your brushes, you can pour a small amount into a resealable jar (so it doesn’t evaporate) and use it to clean your brushes. Even if it seems “dirty,” you will see that the paint and sediment residues will settle on the bottom after a while. You can then reuse it over and over again. Then, when the time has come to throw it away, collect everything in a particular container. For example, a metal can like used for oil, and contact your municipality to understand how to dispose of this type of waste.
Don’t waste liters and liters of water cleaning your tools!
Even in this case, a few tricks are enough to reduce its impact. Water is a fundamental element of life and must not be wasted. Do you want to clean your brushes in a more eco-sustainable way? Then, I’ll explain a method that I happen to use. First, be sure to remove the bulk of the paint still on the bristles by brushing over a cardboard-like surface or using an old cloth rag. In short, what you don’t have to do is wash the brush with a kilo of paint still attached.
Immediately after, you can fill a bucket or small container with water: you will use it precisely to wash the brushes, perhaps with the help of a vegetable soap explicitly designed to do this job. Once you have finished washing, do not throw away the water! Instead, wait overnight for the residue to settle to the bottom of the bucket. The following day you can collect them and filter the water.
The paint residues can be thrown into the garbage or collected in a particular container and then disposed of, while the water can reuse for other washes. But, of course, if you use solvents, the matter becomes more complicated, as they are not easily separable from water. So the advice is to use as little as possible and try to follow this procedure anyway.
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