Carteret County Home Builders Association held a meeting on Thursday evening. Dave LeRoy, from our host company of Safrit's, conducted an informative green building presentation. He showed us many of the products that they carry and statistics and usage on each of these products. He also covered other green building information as well. One part of the presentation brought up the topic of VOC's. Low or zero VOC is a much used catch phrase in the present green movement, but what is it? V O C are the initials for volatile organic compounds. Basically these are chemicals that off gas or evaporate from products into the home or atmosphere. Under the green building guidelines, VOC's fall under two categories. VOC's that are inside the home affect indoor air quality and directly affect the health of the occupants. Some VOC's leave the home and are absorbed into the atmosphere. These chemicals affect the health of the planet as a whole and are categorized under global impact.
Chemicals can be found in almost anything that goes into the construction of a home from glues, flooring, cabinetry, paints and varnishes to name a few. It can also be found in items brought into the completed home such as furniture and cleaning products. Although there have always been alternatives, with the green movement the quantity and quality of these alternatives is increasing. For example, there has always been natural paint products although the quality and duration of the finished product was questionable. Then there was the development of low VOC paints. Since most of the chemicals came from the dye, the first paints could only be purchased in white to light colors. Now they have low VOC paint that can be any color and zero VOC that you get up to mid tone colors.
At times it can be a little overwhelming to know what we as individuals can do about these issues. With a little awareness, effort, and maybe a little homework, we can all make a difference.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
One thing anyone and everyone can do is carry reusable bags when shopping. It's a good place to start when questioning what can I do to make a difference. These are not just for groceries, but think of taking them when running all your daily errands.