By choosing to use earth as a finish for indoor spaces, we choose to bring in a material that adds qualities we seek when we go out into wilderness — freshness, beauty, the soothing visuals of light’s ever-changing play. Essentially, we bring the outdoors in.
Given experience, earthen plasters can be created relatively easily, and, most importantly, with local, minimally processed, non-toxic materials. This means a largely reduced carbon footprint compared to paints and other petroleum-based products.
(above graph borrowed from lowimpact.org )
According to the United Nations, cities consume 75% of global energy use. Currently, just over half of the world’s population lives in cities, with that number is on the rise. A vast majority of the buildings that house these people are painted, or use wallpaper. Even a small change, like utilizing earthen plasters over paints, on such a massive scale, would make a huge difference in our collective environmental impact. This is evident through studying the above graph.
The Japanese have an efficient tradition of recycling, earthen plasters. In fact, it is said that a plaster with up to 80% materials from pre-used plasters makes a better plaster. Their cycle of work, their methods of storage and production, makes jobs with custom-made earthen plasters possible in any work situation.
Humans are very adaptable creatures, and once something is habit, it sticks. We will improve the quality of life for future generations if we take up the habit of using earthen plasters.