Painting the Town



Remember when being kind to the planet was considered sort of edgy? Environmentally responsible paint? Now, that’s just kooky!

These days, green products are to home what cardigan sweaters are to fashion; comfortable, boring and ho-hum sensible. That’s why I am so excited to be unexcited about the news that environmentally responsible paints are now carried at Lowe’s.

Virginia Young and Janie Lowe launched YOLO Colorhouse in Portland in 2005. They’d been covering a lot of walls and weren’t feeling too good about their exposure to the VOC – volatile organic compounds –used as solvents in traditional paints. VOC are known to effect health, and the Environmental Protection Agency had identified paint as a VOC evil demon. (OK, so the EPA didn’t word it quite like that.)  YOLO Colorhouse uses a new technology that makes the chemical solvents unnecessary.  Their paints have no VOC, no carcinogens, no reproductive toxins, no mutagens, no hazardous air pollutants, no ozone depleting compounds, no formaldehyde and no phtalates. That’s a whole lot of nothing for $40 a gallon. Better yet, Lowe’s is offering an introductory rate of $22.98 per gallon.

Oh, and they are very, very pretty paints.

Young and Lowe — who, by the way, is no relation to THE Lowe’s — have artists’ eyes and, lucky for us, glee club enthusiasm. How so? Check out the YOLO Colorhouse Facebook page April 19-22 because they’re giving away quarts of nature-inspired paints in honor of Earth Day.

They’re calling the campaign called Plant the Seed – Cultivating Color and Community — and planting a little seed money in the process. YOLO is donating $1 per comment for the first 100 comments they receive each day on their FB page to The Dinner Garden, a nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger through gardening.

Good paint + big store + free product + good cause = happy consumer

They don’t make paint companies like they used to. Thank goodness.

However, I miss liberal use of the word kooky.