A Guide to Choosing Eco-Friendly Wallcoverings
Go green in a big way with these ideas for natural wallpapers.
The right wallpaper can do amazing things for your space. No longer limited to traditional prints and papers, today's wallcoverings come in modern, eye-catching designs made from green materials that are great for your home and your health.
Here's a simple guide to help you navigate the sea of available wallpapers:
What to look for:
Recycled or FSC-certified paper – Recycled paper is a great choice and is increasingly available in the marketplace. Many up-and-coming wallpaper companies are using it, and even several older companies are developing lines made with recycled content. Another good choice is paper certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) which, although from virgin pulp, is guaranteed to be from sustainably managed forests.
What to avoid:Vinyl (PVC) – Long the darling of the wallpaper industry for its durable, easy-to-clean surface, vinyl wallpaper dominated the marketplace for decades. Unfortunately, there are hidden costs behind that shiny, plastic coating. The production of vinyl, a petrochemical, is a highly polluting process with serious environmental costs. Even on your walls, vinyl will release VOCs and other air pollutants, and several studies link it to health issues such as asthma and cancer. Worst of all is what happens when vinyl enters the wastestream, including the release of dioxins into the air and water supply. To top it off, vinyl wall coverings don't breathe, allowing for a build up of mold between them and the wall in moist locations such as bathrooms.
For more, take a look at our gallery of sustainable wallcoverings.