As some of you may know I recently sealed the carpets at my son’s school so that we could avoid the emissions of VOCs all year long. The school was nice enough to call me when they installed the carpet so that I could have this process completed. Schools are on tighter budgets these days and 100% wool carpet was definitely out of reach. We have a wonderful school and they are making efforts to “be green”. We have a master organic gardener on staff, the children bring in compost materials, and they teach about and practice recycling. This year the school has even asked parents to purchase reusables for their children’s lunches to include snack bags, stainless water bottles, and cloth napkins. They are doing away with plastic bags and bottles!
Imagine my surprise when I showed up today (the week before school starts) to drop off supplies and smelled heavy fumes. They were painting the classrooms and front office with paint that was clearly not “no VOC” paint. The staff was working in this environment with closed doors and windows because it was so hot outside. It was surprising to me that they were unphased by the fumes because I had a head rush right away. I was perplexed by the whole thing because we just discussed the VOCs in the carpet weeks ago. Needless to say, this upset me very much. I am still waiting for the director to call me with the information on which paint was used in the class. I know they see me coming from a mile away. Am I the only one that speaks up about these things at school? I would have gladly paid the difference in the cost between the two paints(it is not much).
I called my fabulous friend Julie on the way home and she shared this with me, “Nickie, you have to understand that this is crystal clear for you. It is not clear to everyone. One day they will get it.” As the day went on I realized that we all still have a lot of work to do. We must continue to spread the knowledge that we have in a loving way to protect our health and our planet. It is not that people don’t care, it is that they just don’t get it!
Please advocate for and speak up about these things at your school, church, and office so that we are all surrounded by a healthy environment. Do not be afraid to ask what they are spraying in your child’s classroom or painting on the walls. This should concern all of us and the more we speak up the more change will come.
no VOCs in paints and carpet
no chemical cleaners
minimal plastics and styrofoam use
Thanks for reading Hip Moms Go Green and supporting these values!