How do we keep that sky both blue and clean? What is environmental stewardship and why do we care? Just about everything we do as humans contributes something positive or negative to our environment. Earth is habitable because of two cycles within our ecosystem; the carbon and hydro cycles. Within this process the earth recycles everything we put into it through natural filters; we call them trees and water. When those filters become full of our pollution, they become clogged and unable to do their job.
The news today is not much different than it was five or ten years ago. Our filters are full. Unlike changing out a furnace filter on a regular basis, we’ve come to the point where we cannot plant enough new trees or remove enough toxic pollution from our oceans and streams to make a significant difference. We lack the technology to recreate the biological systems which provide us with the raw materials we require to live.
But we can be more thoughtful and efficient with the resources we have left. This includes being extremely efficient with water use, energy use and by reducing our waste streams.
When we committed to implementing a water based stain and Water Borne UV finishing line within our facility, we knew it would help us to be more efficient in reducing our waste streams. The top coats within this process are reclaimable. We do this by capturing overspray, filtering it and re-using the product without ever compromising quality. This significantly reduces the amount of product we have to purchase and dispose of at the end of each month.
The same system also allows us to deliver a product with a significantly lower VOC (volatile organic compound) rating than solvent finishes. VOC’s are harmful for our planet when they link with other gasses in our atmosphere and become carbon dioxide – which chews up our ozone layer. They are also harmful to us as they pollute our indoor air quality. They are known to be carcinogenic; read: cancer causing.
Below is a simple VOC comparison:
Standard solvent finishes = 5 lb. /gallon VOCs
BBW Water Borne UV finish = 0.44 lb./gallon VOCs
The majority of our finishing now takes place on the Water Borne UV line, which has allowed us to cut our VOC pollution by 90%. That’s many fewer chemical compounds within our facility and out in our atmosphere. Join us in thinking green and consider the many ways you can contribute to making a smaller footprint!
-Holly Bayer, ASID