The walls are the largest surface area in a room, yet they are often overlooked in favor of furnishings, accessories, and floor treatments. Walls define the spaces in which we live and work. They play an important role in indoor air quality and are a surface that we naturally look towards as we move through a space. In my experience, once the “right” interior colors are decided upon, there is a sense of self-discovery and emotional well-being for the people living or working in that space. American Clay Enterprises’s Earth Plaster goes a step beyond, offering a product that is both intrinsically beautiful and environmentally sound.
Located in Albuquerque, NM, the American Clay veneer is a blend of pure non-toxic clays that leave out the use of acrylics and cements. This rich textured veneer comes in 12 colors derived from natural non-toxic and ochre mineral pigments and is available in two finishes. Loma offers a richly texture ed Tuscan influence and Porcelina emulates Venetian plaster. The use of clay also plays an important role in controlling indoor environments, making it a great candidate for any climate. It can absorb and then release moisture, which regulates arid and humid air. In bathrooms, this absorption of moisture prevents water from running down the walls. It is mold resistant, and is surprisingly cool to the touch in summer. Winner of the NAHB Outstanding Green Product Award 2004, American Clay Earth Plaster’s commitment to the environment and the future is the beacon of their success.
While the field of green design is still relatively new, finding products that are sustainable without giving up aesthetics is more of a reality in today’s marketplace. Consumers are becoming more educated about issues such as climate change and are beginning to ask questions about their choices on product selection. Technology and values have come together to create interiors that serve our health and well-being while protecting our natural resources for future generations. As people begin to discover that earth plaster and other green products are non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and easy to maintain, there is a realization that one does not need to be considered “green” to recognize the durability and aesthetics intrinsic to many of these new products. Choosing green products for our lives and workspaces is quickly becoming part of who we are today.
Ms. Fox is the principle of Foxline Design, which specialized in green design and freelance writing. She is a member of USGBC and IDS. You may reach her with comments or questions at www.foxlinedesign.com.