Hello there – this week is all about healthy finishes, oils and paints for your home, as we chat with Angela from Livos, along with some great tips on a healthy home. If you enjoyed the show please head to iTunes or Stitcher to leave us a review and subscribe for the latest episodes.
The finishes you use in your home are very important to your health. This includes paint, oils, floor sealers and stains. Livos Australia produce a range of eco friendly floor sealer, stains, paints and oils. After working extensively in the coatings industry in Switzerland, Angela and her husband relocated to Australia (with two young daughters in tow), bringing with them a new perspective on health issues caused by many synthetic products.
Once settled in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne, the couple established ‘Anro Floorcare’ a specialist floor sanding service using only safe and natural finishes. Fuelled by their passion to educate people about the hidden health risks associated with many commonly used paints and stains, in 2006 they jumped at the chance to take over the Australia wide distributorship of the country’s premier eco friendly range of products – Livos.
They offer a wide range of products from floor finishes, to paints, even children’s finger paints!
Livos products are produced under the Rudolf Steiner principal of using renewable raw materials with the health of the individual as top priority. Being the first industrial manufacturer to openly declare their full list of ingredients, the entire range is truly safe and natural. These products are the healthier alternatives to traditional synthetic coatings and are readily available to all, Australia wide.
The large range of products are very versatile and may be used on various surfaces including
- Oils and stains for sustainable care of floors (timber and concrete), furniture, doors and windows
- Naturally nourishing oils for exterior surfaces such as decks and furniture
- Vapour permeable, VOC free paints and tints for safer decorating
- Cleaners (concentrates) and waxes for responsible care and maintenance
- Not only are these products suitable for the professional, but also not difficult to use for the hobbyist or DIYer. Also and largely due to demand, they introduced a range of safe face and finger paints for kids.
Things you will want to remember from the show
- Sustainable building should encompass everything and follow through to the paints and finishes
- The health of the individual is number one in every Livos product
- You may have sensitivities to even natural products, so if you are aware of the ingredients in a product it is your choice to use it or not – many products do not provide this information
- Livos use all natural products as there is less chance of sensitivity
- The oils can be used on toys and even teething rings as they are certified food safe but are also durable enough to use on a floor and on animal cages, chicken coops etc
- The products are vapour permeable so they are breathable. This means if you have something like hempcrete, straw bale etc then the coatings will still allow your home to breathe. It also reduces mould in your home
- Not all volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) are the same thing, it is a very complex topic. The organic compounds are not just that “smell”. It is also very important to understand the other chemicals in a product, and how they react once they are in the air in your home. Often the paints which do not smell for example, can still contain VOC’s but there are masking chemicals in the products to stop the smells. It is also about how chemicals are combined in our homes and your personal level of sensitivity and your exposure over time. There are natural VOC’s – for example in oranges and pine trees, so their oils can contain these too. Food grade quality oils are less likely to cause issues
- The only way to really know is for products to be labeled correctly – we need to have the same kind of labeling on our products in the building trades as we do in foods – Livos and some other companies do list the ingredients, so look for these products so you can make an informed choice
- The Livos paints do not have preservatives, which means you select the paint and do not mix until you are ready to start painting
- There are a range of products for renovating and building including tile adhesives and products for coating and staining concrete as well as timber
- The long term sustainability of a paint or oil is important too – a product such as Livos may cost a little more, but will last for many many years
- If you use a recycled timber, why would you put a plastic crude oil product on it? It makes reuse later much harder and does not allow your timber to breathe. Natural products are more gentle on the earth
- If there is no natural pigment, Livos will not manipulate products to create colours, for example fireman red is not available as it can not be naturally created
- Livos have a fairtrade agreement with the farmers who farm their linseed oil and the hull after pressing goes back to the farmers for further use – a lifecycle approach is taken and they follow the moon cycle and companion planting with their cropping
- Livos products are available via a range of options in the links below and can be posted across Australia as well and there are contacts for painters and decorators who also use their products
- When doing a renovation project consider the sustainability, health of the product and how long it will last, not just the cost. Always ask questions and if your supplier can not or will not give you answers, you should consider a different product