Eco-Friendly Wallpaper Options For A Sustainable Home. Wallpapers used to be the wall decor par excellence for every household worldwide until around the late ’60. This craze abruptly stopped when people started raising concerns about the chemical toxins in contemporary vinyl models.
Despite this, wallpapers are still valuable resources for hiding structural wall defects and revamping your house’s look and feel. Moreover, you’ll find many eco-friendly wallpaper options intermixed with a share of toxic ones. Keep reading to discover which ones would better suit your sustainable home.
When browsing for wallpapers, you may come across many intriguing designs. However, make sure they meet the following conditions before hitting the buy button:
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemical substances that, unfortunately, are present in a broad range of household items and products. Some examples of VOC sources include carpets, cosmetics, and even air fresheners.
Inhaling VOCs for prolonged periods can trigger a whole host of health problems. These include asthma, respiratory illnesses, and even cancer in many instances.
Double-check for any VOCs (e.g., methylene chloride, benzene, formaldehyde, etc.) when browsing for an eco-friendly wallpaper option. At the very least, VOC content should be at the lowest possible levels. PVC and vinyl wallpapers are totally out of the question!
If you want some peace of mind, look for a Grenguard badge. Greenguard-certified wallpapers should be free of VOCs for the most part.
Ink covers a considerable portion of every wallpaper, so you ought to ensure that it is water-based and not solvent-based. Solvent-based pigment inks are prone to contain VOCs, increasing your exposure to the hazards we already described.
Could you verify that your wallpaper choice doesn’t have high (or any) traces of toxic metals like arsenic, mercury, cadmium, or lead? These are, unfortunately, awfully common in modern wallpaper offerings.
Furthermore, while less prevalent today than ten years ago, some market alternatives could still contain BFR (Brominated Flame Retardants). Other brands may have tin, silver, and titanium dioxide mixes, which also tax the environment.
As of late, many wallpaper manufacturers have displayed admirable environmentally-conscious behavior in their production pipelines. This is evident in their efforts to seek vinyl substitutes with little chemical content. Such wallcovering material options include:
More and more companies are manufacturing wallpapers with a high percentage of recycled content (pre-and post-consumer waste). This helps alleviate the environmental costs of using virgin pulp or fiber.
You can also find aesthetically-pleasing wallcoverings made (and, at times, handmade) using a plethora of natural renewable materials. The catch is that their sources tend to have a fast growth rate, so there’s no danger of depletion. On top of that, their extraction process doesn’t entail substantial harm to the surrounding ecosystems.
These materials include:
Last (but not least), you may consider reusable wallpapers instead (also called “removable” or “peel and stick”). A reusable wallpaper is a very convenient option, especially for renters and people who don’t commit to one place. It’s also handy for individuals who envision changing their wall design periodically.
More important, however, is the prospect of helping the environment by encouraging reusing. This benefit to the environment is two-fold: You reduce waste that would otherwise populate our already overcrowded landfills.
Second, you avert the unnecessary extraction of new raw materials to produce more wallpapers. This makes reusable wallpapers an ideal sustainable alternative to other types of decor.