Recycle and green initiatives are making a buzz nowadays. We are finding ways to use eco savvy products almost everywhere. One such area where we can use green washed products yet again is home insulation. Eco insulation not only helps the green earth movement, but also improves the quality of indoor air. Petrochemical foam and fiber glass are the most widely used insulating materials which during their manufacture release toxins as well as pollutants into our surroundings. Also, they are treated with various chemicals that are carcinogenic and can cause respiratory or reproductive illnesses. So, it is better to switch to clean and green products instead
1. Textiles, fabric and yarns
Polyester mills scraps mixed with cotton and denim fabric is a good example of recycled cotton used as insulation. You can even turn old jeans into insulating material that keeps the warmth during winter months. Usually such cotton or denim is cleaned, stripped and coated with boric acid. Soft and pliable, it is easy to install and also keeps noise out. It is non toxic, doesnât irritate the skin upon coming in contact and is 100% recyclable. This insulation is resistant to molds, insects and even keeps fires at bay. Also, lesser amount of energy is usurped in its production. Most supply stores carry it and a popular manufacturer is Bonded Logic. Reusing old cloth and jeans is a great idea as it reduces the dump on our landfills. The all-natural sheep wool can also be used as insulation and it is renewable, a non irritant and safe to touch. The sheep wool has air pockets to keep them warm during the winter and cool in the summer and it will do the same for your homes. Naturally fire resistant, it will extinguish a fire on its own.
A hardy substance that will thwart molds and fungus; it is also non corrosive to aluminum, copper and steel. This earth friendly product is 100% recyclable, fire resistant and free of formaldehydes. Most of the supply is made from recycled newspaper. Old newspapers are shred and treated with boric acid, which is fire resistant. It can easily be used to insulate walls and ceiling. In fact, it is so malleable that it crams up within the smallest of nooks and crannies. Celbar is a company that makes insulation from recycled paper. They even have a spray insulation that can be used in tight and compact spaces like attics.
A spray made from soy beans is catching up as a great insulator. This all-natural spray is very light and airy thus extremely easy to control. When sprayed, it swells to 100 times its size and covers up a large surface area lodging easily into small spaces. It is therefore popularly used in small crammed spaces and homes. Beneficial properties are that it is resistant to molds and mildew as well as chemical free. It also enhances the quality of indoor air.
4. Fiber glass
The insulation made from fiber glass helps to conserve energy and there are so many benefits of using it in your home. It has a natural sound barrier, is highly thermal and is capable of moisture control. It is also resistant to molds and mildews. Most of the times recycled glass is used to manufacture this fiber glass and they are free of formaldehydes. This means that the binder formaldehyde emissions are reduced during production and also will not release gas formaldehydes in your homes. Ecobatt provides such fiber glass insulation that is binded with bio based substances and is free of formaldehydes. Fiber glass is non combustible but it does have some downsides. A lot of energy is utilized in its manufacture and it can pose some health hazards.
5. Straw bale
To install straw bales, just mass them together and secure them to a natural material like wood or bamboo. It grows quickly and can be sourced locally in most areas and is therefore not very expensive. Setting it up in your home is real easy and not at all labor intensive. They absorb light when the sun is up and then radiate heat after sunset. It is a renewable and energy efficient resource. Unlike popular perception, they can withstand fires considerably as it takes time for the flames to burn off the thickset straw bale structures. This one has been used for a long time now.