When choosing wallpaper, it’s important to consider how the paper is made. A wide variety of factors can contribute to the environmental impact of wallpaper, including the carrier and surface materials, inks, paints, coatings and flame retardants used, as well as application methods. While there are many choices for eco-friendly wallpaper, finding the right one for your project requires a little research and a willingness to try something new.
The most common eco-friendly wallpapers are papers that do not contain vinyl or a PVC coating. They typically use a low-pollutant paper for the carrier layer and a high-quality paper for the surface. Some of these papers are also cellulose and/or wood-based, making them more sustainable than standard wallpapers made with synthetic ingredients. They may also be printed with plant-based dyes and solvent-free printing inks, as well as using recycled or renewable resources for production.
Other options include non-woven and fabric wallpapers. Non-woven wallpapers are often made with cellulose and petroleum-based polyester, while fabric wallpapers are typically made of cotton, silk, hemp, jute or linen. These materials vary in their environmental impact, based on the chemicals and fertilizers required to grow them, as well as whether they are laminated or woven. They may also be coated with VOC-emitting vinyl or acrylic, although some are now available with an eco-friendly finish.
In addition to being paper-based, these wallpapers are often wet washable and can be sponged. They are made with vegetable or cellulose adhesives, as opposed to vinyl wallpaper glues that emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They are also often less likely to ripple or peel than vinyl plastic wallpapers. However, they may be more prone to warping in damp areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms.
Eco-friendly wallpapers are not only more sustainable than standard wallcoverings, but they can also be reused. Depending on the type of wallpaper, it may be removed and repositioned in a different room or rolled up for storage. This is not always possible with vinyl wallpapers, which may be difficult to remove without leaving behind residue and chemical-laden vapors.
A few brands of eco-friendly wallpaper offer a range of designs that can suit any style. One example is Wallpaper from the 70s, which offers more than 300 eco-friendly wallpaper styles, ranging from art nouveau and art deco to Scandinavian, Oriental, nautical, and shabby chic. The company uses a combination of traditional and modern design to create their collection, which includes vintage patterns and colors. The paper they use is elemental chlorine free and their inks are water-based, resulting in lower odor than standard wallpapers and no VOCs. The company’s sample books are also paper-based and made from recycled fibers. The company also uses a carbon-neutral factory to print its wallpapers, as well as recycled packaging and a paper recycling program for its empty ink cartridges. In addition, their studio runs on 100% renewable energy. papier peint ecologique