by Susan Post
As the emphasis on green living grows, several Ohio companies are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly products into our homes in unexpected ways. From the paint on your walls to the washing machine in your laundry room, you can go green.
We all know basics like that cardboard, plastic and glass are all recyclable, but what about paint? One Northwest Ohio company is recycling every shade of latex paint imaginable into fresh colors for your walls. American Paint Recyclers collects paint from individuals and in bulk from solid waste districts to create their signature Ecotone paint.
Mixing each 250 gallon batch of recycled paint is like an art experiment. Workers check each can donated for consistency and odor to make sure the paint is still good before pouring it into large containers based on color. Using heavy-duty equipment, the various paints are mixed to produce a new batch. The process is all-natural with no pigmentation added.
Mixing shades and sheens together means each batch contains some variation, but American Paint Recycler’s Founder, Jeremy Brinkman, says some shades like white and tan are remarkably consistent. Ecotone also mixes red, green, blue and catch-all-shades of gray. Wasting no color, anything that does not fit into another bucket is used to create Ecotone’s wide line of grays. “It’s not an exact color match like you might find with a color number,” Brinkman says. Instead the company has adopted the motto, “Match the batch.”
While each batch may vary slightly, the result is always a high-quality product. “The coverage is fantastic, the paint actually has a much thicker consistency,” Brinkman says. Eco-friendly in all that they do, American Paint Recyclers does more than just recycle paint. “We recycle every possible element of the process” Brinkman says. The company currently recycles metal paint cans and is looking for a way to repurpose plastic containers.
Ecotone paint is available across the state at seven Habitat for Humanity Restore locations, including both Columbus stores. Less expensive than traditional paint, Ecotone runs about $12 per gallon.
After you have saved money by painting your walls with Ecotone, head over to your laundry room where you will save even more by never buying laundry detergent again. EcoWasher is a detergent-free ozone laundry system. The device creates hydroxyl radicals that are one of the most powerful cleaning agents known to man.
The EcoWasher attaches to your existing washing machine. Cold water is filtered through the system where it goes through an advanced oxygenation process to create ozone, hydrogen peroxide and negative ions within the water. The water then passes through a static mixer to create the hydroxyl radicals before passing into the washing machine basin. The radicals deep clean the clothing and unlike normal detergents, they disinfect as well. The EcoWasher is both budget and environmentally friendly as a result.
On the environmental side, one of the most prominent benefits is that chemicals from detergents and softeners do not contaminate the water system. EPA data shows these substances are the number one water contaminators in the wastewater treatment facilities of small communities. For people not on a public water system, the oxygen in the system actually feeds the friendly flora in your septic system. In addition, an increasing number of individuals are sensitive to the chemicals found in detergents.
An EcoWasher is a minimal investment at $337 for a regular unit, or $397 for a unit designed for hard water. Savings will quickly offset the initial investment as the company estimates that a family of four could save about $700 each year between reduced costs for laundry supplies and the energy needed to heat the water. Not heating water also further reduces a user’s carbon footprint.
The EcoWasher is currently available at Herald’s Appliance in Mount Vernon or through the company’s website.
Susan Post is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus. She enjoys writing about her city and the people and places that make it special. Contact her at Susan.Post.firstname.lastname@example.org.