How to Go Green When Painting Your Environmental Non-Profit
Nashville, Tennessee is home to countless charities and nonprofits heading various sustainability and preservation initiatives. While these entities aren’t in the businesses of making a profit, like any other business, they still need to maintain a steady enough cash flow to pay their employees, optimize their operations, and achieve their goals. If you run a nonprofit, you know how crucial it is to have a comfortable base of operations. Your physical location allows you to extend your reach to the community and manage the many duties essential to pursuing your organization’s mission. If your building has seen better days, then there’s a good chance your nonprofit will begin to suffer as well.
In order to keep spirits high, it’s important to refresh your facility every now and then with minor repairs and new coats of paint. Environmental nonprofits may struggle to perform this periodic maintenance, however, as many traditional methods and paint products aren’t exactly eco-friendly. If you wish to practice what you preach, you must find ways to “go green” when painting your headquarters. Fortunately, achieving a sustainable paint project is easier now than ever before, as long as you’re willing to put in the necessary time and effort to pull it off. Let’s go over how to paint your environmental nonprofit in a way that suits your organization’s sustainability aspirations.
Properly Maintain Your Property
If your nonprofit's main mission is to protect the environment, you’ll want to keep painting to a minimum. In order to spread these painting projects as far away from one another as possible, you must keep your property in great condition. After all, periodic painting is designed to both beautify your facility and protect its surfaces from damage. Simply put, the better you maintain your location (e.g., cleaning, minor repairs, touch-ups), the less frequently you’ll need to re-paint it. Keep in mind, of course, that certain maintenance tasks also pose a threat to the environment. Toxic cleaning solutions, for instance, can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, harm indoor and outdoor plant life, etc. When it’s time to clean your facility’s exterior, for example, hire pressure washing services who are committed to safety and sustainability. These professionals will use non-toxic and/or organic cleaning solutions and water-efficient pressure washing devices to get the job done.
Plan Your Commercial Painting Project According to Your Needs
Eco-friendly painting projects require careful planning from the very beginning. Otherwise, your project may involve unnecessary steps, create health and safety hazards, and produce excess waste. When preparing to paint your environmental nonprofit, start by determining precisely what your needs are. Do your exterior surfaces require fresh coatings? Do some or all of your interior rooms need a facelift? Generally speaking, exterior painting is needed more frequently (about every 5-7 years) than interior painting (10 years or more in many cases). Sometimes it might make sense to tackle both exterior and interior painting at the same time, but only if both processes are truly required. Nailing down the details of your project well in advance of hiring an interior or exterior painting contractor will help you establish a budget and avoid expending resources on unnecessary things.
Reduce Waste Wherever Possible
Speaking of wasteful actions, a “green” paint job is one that minimizes waste across the board. In practice, this means reusing certain items (like brushes, roller trays, or PPE) and investing in high-quality products from the get-go. The more durable your paint is, for instance, the longer it will last -- the same goes for your tools, as anything that breaks often becomes useless. When seeking painting contractors to refresh your environmental nonprofit, ask them about their processes for preserving their equipment. Do they properly wash and reuse drop cloths? Do they cover up roller heads in the middle of a project rather than throw them out? The more sustainable they are, the better suited they are for painting your nonprofit’s location.
Use Non-Toxic Paint Products Inside and Out
In the not-so-distant past, most paint products consisted of toxic components that harmed the environment and those within range. Things have changed significantly since then. Now, a wide variety of paint products are non-toxic. Still, some paints are more eco-friendly than others. Whether you’re painting your nonprofit's interior, exterior, or both, prioritize paints labelled zero- or low-VOC. These products have a much lower negative impact on the environment and don’t release a potent, harmful odor. It’s worth noting that it may be more difficult to find durable low-VOC paints for exterior surfaces, as exterior paint often requires various additives to protect it from rain, sunlight, wind, and other environmental threats. That said, the best commercial painters will help you find the most sustainable paint products for your purposes.
Choose Brighter Colors for Interior Rooms
The phrase “going green” doesn’t actually indicate anything about color, but color choices can indeed play a role in making your facility more environmentally friendly. In order to grasp this connection, recall that darker colors absorb light while lighter colors reflect it. Also note that we need a certain amount of light to see. A room that’s painted black, then, won’t be all that visible unless thoroughly lit up by some external source. A white room, on the other hand, will appear much brighter with far less lighting. If you paint the interior areas of your environmental nonprofit with lighter shades, you won’t need to use as much electricity and can rely more on natural lighting to keep your location nice and bright. When it’s time to tackle interior painting, prioritize lighter shades and steer clear from darker colors, at least when it comes to primary surfaces like walls and ceilings (darker colors can be used for contrast).
Clean Up Your Mess the Right Way
In regards to going green, what happens after the painting process matters just as much as what goes on during it. Even if the project went exactly as planned and your commercial interior painting provider utilized eco-friendly materials, everything must be properly cleaned up and disposed of when all is said and done. Reliable professional painters will handle most if not all of the cleanup process for you, but it’s worth inquiring about how they dispose of excess paint and other materials. Ideally, paint, thinners, and solvents should never be poured down the drain -- paint should be placed in a secure jar or can and sent to the proper hazardous waste facility. Failing to take these steps can have serious negative effects on the environment.
Store Whatever Paint Remains
While it’s key to dispose of certain products in a sustainable way after a paint job, there are often plenty of materials that don’t need to be thrown away just yet. If there’s a significant amount of paint left over after the project, the best and most eco-friendly thing to do is to save it for the future. Holding onto excess paint is also incredibly useful when it comes time to touch up a given surface (you want to use the exact same paint type and color, after all). Read our previous post, “The Best Way to Store Your Paint and Tools,” for a detailed account of how to properly store this valuable stuff.
Painting Your Environmental NonProfit with the Environment in Mind
Your mission is to protect the environment. At Nash Painting, our mission is to ensure complete satisfaction and provide exceptional, long-lasting results. If you’re looking for a painting provider to meet your specific needs, then look no further than Nash Painting. We use the latest surface preparation technologies and low-VOC paint products for every job and also offer custom solutions based on our clients’ particular needs and goals. This is why we’ve become trusted across Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN to enhance and protect homes, businesses, and nonprofits alike. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!