Is ArtResin Environmentally Responsible? Posted on 18 Nov 09:23 , 0 comments
I'll be honest, I am a bit of a hippie.
My wife and I have a huge vegetable garden and we love the soil. I am usually barefoot, and think I can communicate telepathically with my cats, Nature is amazing and the idea that we are making and selling a product that can be damaging the planet is something that deeply disturbs our souls!
In this blog I'll share:
1) My honest, informed explanation about the epoxy resin industry and Eco friendly marketing (and also some 'greenwashing' that goes on in the industry.
2) The efforts we go to to minimize our footprint and also our best advice for proper and responsible disposal.
ArtResin is made from Petroleum.
Period end of story.
"The word petroleum comes from the Latin petra, meaning “rock,” andoleum, meaning “oil.”
Let's not fool ourselves. There are all sorts of problems with petroleum extraction. Petroleum spills and seeps into our oceans and water supplies while contaminating our soils and polluting our air. It is at the root of many wars and keeps developed countries depending on foreign supplies. It is essential to the production of Epoxy Resin.
Unfortunately the chemical industry is rampant with 'greenwashing' (using environmental claims as a marketing tool when they are having a net-negative impact on the planets well-being).
What can we do as a company to act responsibly?
ArtResin epoxy resin is fully reactive. Meaning, that there is no non-reactive material in our product.
Why is this important? Well, if we were to go cheap, and buy materials that have fillers or diluents to stretch our materials further and make more money, there would be 'non-reactive' material in our product that evaporates into the air.
Why is non reactive material a bad thing?
Well, because when you mix the two parts together, all the non reactive stuff is either released as VOCs during the chemical reaction, or they would leech out over time. If you put cheap epoxy resin in water, chemicals would leech out into the water. This is not only bad for your health, but also for the air.
Once cured, ArtResin is food safe and nothing leeches out into our environment. When mixed, no non reactive material is expelled into the air!
- Yes once ArtResin is cured it becomes safe as per FDA 21CFR177.2280 (safe for incidental food contact). You can check out the ArtResin® SDS for further details. Here is the exact FDA link:
So that's a good thing that we pay extra for in our manufacturing process.
Here are a few other things we do to act responsibly in our business:
We clean and recycle our totes and drums. Which is not huge cost savings and extra work.
We buy our raw materials locally as much as possible. It is sourced in Texas, where it is mixed packaged and distributed from. This cuts down in shipping from Taiwan where most companies get their raw materials from in this industry. We like to support local businesses and have built a great community of hard working local suppliers. Our packaging and shipping boxes are made just down the road. Same with our labels and printing materials.
To be clear, epoxy resin companies that say they are environmentally friendly or use post industrial or consumer waste in their resin, really should be examined. I urge you to call them and ask them if they are actually environmentally friendly. If you get an honest person on the phone, you will get the truth. The percentage of down cycled material used is very small and it is probably worse than just sourcing a local fresh supply for many reasons, including clarity and actual impact on the planet.
As a business, we have avoided saying that we are environmentally friendly, because it has never felt right.
ArtResin is made up of amazing people who love the planet and other people (especially artists!). We are honest and this is a hard conversation to have for us because we wish we had a better answer.
The reality is that epoxy resin is made from petroleum, but we got to extra efforts at higher costs to live responsibly and set an example for our kids and customers.
This stuff matters
So, as a consumer and lover of ArtResin (You!), what is the most responsible way to use this product in terms of minimizing your environmental impact?
1) Do not pour the hardener side of unmixed ArtResin into the water supply. Fish don't like it.
2) If you have extra material at the bottom of each bottle, open each bottle and put one bottle upside down on top of the other one. Have the two openings touching so that you can drain all of the one side into the other side. Wrap tape around the two at this meeting point and let it sit. This will react all the extra material in the bottom of one bottle and you can then recycle the bottles! No liquid material can leak out if it is all fully reacted.
3) if you have extra of only one side of the ArtResin, for example, some extra hardener in a bottle but no matching resin, then the best thing to do is take it to your local dump! Dumps have a spot where you can drop of half empty cans of house paint and other chemicals. Give this to them.
Now, what they do with it sounds terribly, but on further research, its not as bad as it sounds. These paint and chemical depots will often incinerate any chemicals that cant be reused in some other product or manufacturing process ( some companies take paint and re mix it for resale ). The incinerating of chemicals is quite sophisticated and there are many filters that capture impurities so that they are not released into the air. I am going to take a trip with my local dump to learn more about this process and I will report back!
They are very open to sharing their efforts to be environmentally friendly, so call your local dump if you want to learn more!
ArtResin is not marketed as good for the planet because of the obvious negative effects of petroleum extraction and refining. It would be irresponsible and dare I say 'evil' of us to nit-pick the truth and market this way.
We do our best, and will keep asking 'how can we do better?' Because we actually really do care.
If you have any concerns about anything I said here, or suggestions on ways we can do better, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Go make art!