We’ve had the house for less than 24 hours and I’m already psyched to pull off all the crazy textured wallpaper and rip up the carpet to reveal hardwood floors. Alas, it’s a lot of work! We spent several hours today pulling the top layer of wallpaper off the family room walls (the backing and paste tend to stay behind). A guy from Vectren came by to turn on the gas and told me that I should make my life simpler and buy a gallon of magical solution called Dif that supposedly takes wallpaper right off.
I looked it up and learned that Dif is a wallpaper stripper with a “unique patented enzyme formula” and “a superior, more effective blend of wetting agents” that have made it a must-have for wallpaper removal projects.
Of course, my question is, what is the environmental impact of this stuff? I looked at the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) but it is really designed for firefighters and hazardous waste clean-up crews so there wasn’t detailed information about its overall environmental impacts. I’m pretty sure Dif is more environmentally harmful than using hot water but I’m also pretty sure it’s a lot faster. At what point can a person justify an increased environmental impact to save some physical labor? For this project, I would feel a lot better sticking with the manual labor – I could use the exercise! But the question of trade-offs comes up a lot and it’s almost always impossible to get all the information needed to make the best decision.
My dad says that someone needs to come up with a Green Consumer Reports that would crunch all the data concerning the environmental impact of how an item is produced, how it’s used during its life, and how it gets disposed of. I keep telling him it’s a great idea except I don’t think that data even exists for most products. But maybe someone just needs to give it their best shot and refine as they go.
Any publishing moguls out there? I’m handy with a blog and a wallpaper scraper…