Green WallPapers and Adhesives
Is there such a thing as green wallpaper? Wallpaper has been used as a wall decoration since the thirteenth century and has been an excellent way to add texture and warmth to a room. The original manufacture and printing of wallpaper was not particularly environmentally friendly as it used wood products to make the paper slurry, added bleaches and chlorine's to clean the slurry and used synthetic fibres to add texture and design to the wallpaper.
While these wallpapers and coverings did a great job design wise, they were sensitive to moisture damage and mold and mildew, making them not great choices for bathrooms and such.
Now with the movement to green interior design, manufacturers and designers have begun working with environmentally sustainable wallpapers and coverings and adhesives. This movement toward green wallpaper is producing very sexy and ecological wall design applications for kitchens, living areas, commercial spaces and even bathrooms.
Green Wallpaper and Wall Coverings
The latest trends in environmentally friendly wallpapers use a mixture of naturally sourced fibres, recycled paper products and managed timber sources as ingredients to manufacture eco friendly wallpapers and wall coverings for the home. Traditional wallpapers used inks and solvents that were chemically based while modern eco friendly techniques are using water based inks, non woven substrates that are comprised of renewable materials and synthetic fibres, improving recyclables, and many of the solvents used in the manufacture of eco friendly wallpaper and coverings are VOC free Graham Brown and Anderson Prints are producing wallpaper following these green ideals. Managed timber sources such as 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved are the primary material source for these eco friendly wallpapers, although there is a movement towards recycled post consumer content , and now even natural fibre based papers. Theses natural fibres include grass fibre and Igusa Straw, manufactured by AI Walls. The last of which is Anti Microbial, Anti Bacterial and absorbent of harmful substances and acts as a natural air filter in your home improving air quality.
Many of these environmentally friendly wallpapers are produced without chemical utilization and are waste free. Packaging is a concern regarding wall papers and innovative ideas are being used that include 100% recyclables and compost able corn derived products.
Health Impact of Wallpaper adhesives
Wallpaper adhesives and pastes were originally made from starch based adhesives that gave great tackiness and grip. With technological improvements through the early part of the 20th century, adhesives became more chemically based and included vinyl based glues and such. Although effective as an adhesive, they did contribute to the overall air quality and proved difficult to remove. The movement to eco friendly adhesives has changed the way adhesives are now thought of and there is a wide selection of water soluble pastes that are acrylic and solvent free. The primary ingredient in these water based adhesives is non toxic and non allergenic Methyl Cellulose. Made from wood pulp, this adhesive is free of fungicides, preservatives and synthetic resins.
The removal of wallpaper can be done quite environmentally friendly with the use of water or steam, saturating the paper and dissolved the adhesive solvent. This only works though on wallpaper that is paper based, for woven fibre and vinyl wall paper, it was necessary to either use a chemical solvent and/or a hand scraper. There are alternatives though as with the improvement of eco friendly paint thinners that changed the composition of the paint, so too are there wall paper removers that do just that. Senpro is a leading manufacturer of a biodegradable wall paper remover called EZ Peel that softens the wall paper adhesive versus melting the adhesive. This results in easily removing the paper in large strips and some of these new adhesive removers are even biodegradable.
The Sexy Green Home opinion:
Wall paper has been losing market share as a design additive in the home but with new designs and eco friendly options, we think it is time for a comeback. Environmentally friendly wallpaper is ecological, easy to install compared to days gone by and adds a sexy design element to kitchens, hallways, living spaces and even bathrooms. These new natural fibre wallpapers are anti microbial and mold resistant. The solvents and inks used are water soluble and with their use of sustainable forestry and recycled papers, wall paper is again a sexy choice for your home.
Learn more about environmentally friendly & low VOC paints for your walls