FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Since the inception of the Keep Grand Bahama Clean (KGBC) initiative, Paint Fair has been a staunch supporter helping to spread the message of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’.
“Keeping our island clean is in our best interests – it protects all of our livelihoods and the future of our children and their children,” expressed general manager, Lesley Baptista.
To this end, Paint Fair has introduced various initiatives to encourage persons to preserve and protect their homes, businesses and communal areas. “What we think is important is for everyone to realize that small steps can add up to make a big difference – the key is to start,” Baptista stressed.
Initial steps the company has taken include, reducing waste by eliminating it in the first place. Baptista said they offer customers the best information possible at the outset regarding not buying more paint or accessories than is really needed.
Additionally, Paint Fair is committed to providing environmentally friendly, durable products like ‘WonderPure no-VOC paint, which has been named best-in-class by environmental publications. They also provide eco-friendly cleaners, paint hardeners and products made from recycled material.
KGBC chairperson, Nakira Wilchcombe, is full of praise for their efforts. “We are thrilled to have such concerned ‘green citizens’ as Paint Fair as a KGBC partner. They have always demonstrated a keen desire to positively impact the community and this is evident in the expert advice and quality products that they offer when it comes to protecting the environment,” she said.
Of particular note is the company’s ‘Reuse Paint Depot’ where individuals can drop off excess or left-over paint. Launched in late 2009, this partner programme with KGBC provides a place for persons to bring in used or excess paint to be passed on to those in need, or properly disposed of.
According to Baptista, after passing proper inspection, the donated paint is then given to various beneficiaries such as schools, churches and various organizations. “We never re-blend the donated paint with our new stock, nor do we recycle it, but it is given to those in need to support community projects,” she said.
Student entrants in the KGBC Downtown Mural Competition were recently on the receiving end of this initiative. Paint Fair’s ‘Reuse Paint Depot’ made donations to school Art departments and young artists used the paint to produce award-winning pieces for the contest.
Wilchcombe further noted that Paint Fair has also been a major supporter of the Downtown Turnaround Project (DTP) which The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) launched in 2009. As GBPA has worked to transform the downtown city centre with improved lighting, landscaping and other features, Paint Fair has cooperated with businesses wishing to repaint and refurbish their premises.
Baptista offered several eco-friendly tips for local consumers: use it – try to use up any leftover paint by adding an extra coat for richer colour and extra protection, or use paint to give new life to furniture and accessories that could use a facelift; share it – as long as paint is in good condition, swap it with a friend or neighbour; clean up – water-based paint, brushes and accessories can be cleaned with water, and solvent cleaners (for oil paints) can be strained and reused after cleaning brushes, rollers etc.; dry it out – latex (water-based) paint can be dried up with paint hardener, sand, newspaper or cat litter and then safely thrown away; deliver to your local paint depot – if you can’t use it up, bring it in to be passed on.
The adoption of ‘green practices’ was encouraged by both Wilchcombe and Baptista. “We think the initiatives taken on by the KGBC committee are vital to our collective future and it’s a natural extension for Paint Fair to help in anyway we can to protect and preserve our natural resources and bring awareness to the need for all of us to do our part,” Baptista added.