Sunday, September 09, 2012

From the Paint Locker to #ZeroWaste - A #CTWW Challenge!

In honor of Zero Waste Week, this week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge is:
"This week, consider your recycling habits and decide on one more thing which you can do to reduce landfill waste. Let us know what you're doing, and how, so that we can all learn and be inspired."
We've already cut back on our garbage can to the smallest size available, and thanks to Seattle's fine residential recycling program, we don't fill up the trash can even over the course of two weeks. But there's always room for improvement!
When your creativity is stuck, one place to look is at a project that you've been delaying for no good reason that you're willing to admit.
A task that I have been avoiding has been cleaning out the paint locker. When we bought this house a couple of years ago, there were several cans of paint in the basement left over from who-knows-what.  While latex-based paint may be safely disposed of in the trash, oil-based paint has to be treated as a hazardous waste, and either way, they contribute to the mountain of garbage. I've been putting off dealing with this.
Meanwhile, there are a number of plain concrete surfaces around the house: the walls of our laundry room, and the outside of our foundation. I have been gradually painting the foundation, a little at a time, because I like the way it perks up the look of the place, and it (may) give it a little more protection from the elements.
It just struck me: why not go through may old paint and apply anything that's still usable to my surfaces?
I'm pretty sure the latex paint would go fine in the laundry room, and perhaps reduce the dust that seems to collect on bare cement surfaces. The oil-based paint should be o.k. for the parts of the foundation that don't get seen very often, regardless of the color. There just doesn't seem to be any reason to have a collection of half-full paint cans or to send them to the landfill/hazardous waste facility, when there are perfectly good walls ready to put them to use!
This project will take a bit of time, to sort through things and apply them, but as a bonus, I will then have an empty paint locker than can be used for something else. I'll write when the paint locker is empty and hope I have good news to report!

1 comment:

CelloMom said...

What a cool idea: you could end up with an artistically painted concrete wall! I wonder what the expiration date it on paints?