Choose natural forms of insulation for your home.
UltraTouch Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation is made from recycled denim.
Photo Courtesy Bonded Logic
Wall and ceiling insulation reduces noise and helps keep your home warm in winter, cool in summer. Whether you’re building a new home or improving an uninsulated one, choose natural forms of insulation. Here’s a look at several of the more eco-friendly types.
• Recycled newsprint that’s blown into walls, ceilings, and attics. A water-activated adhesive helps it stabilize when applied to an open cavity. Can also be densely packed into closed cavities.
• Treated with nontoxic borate or ammonium sulfate fire retardant.
Soy-Based Polyurethane Foam
• Sprays on, then expands to fill structural cavities.
• Seals leaks by filling tiny crevices and cavities.
• Made from soybean oil (a renewable resource) and petrochemicals.
• Does not use ozone-depleting CFC- or HCFC-based blowing agents. Uses water- or carbon dioxide-based blowing agents.
• Requires special equipment and a contractor.
• Comes in batts or blown-in formulation.
• Most contain at least 30 percent recycled-glass content.
• Many brands contain a phenolformaldehyde binder; some formaldehyde-free products are available.
• There’s debate over whether inhaling airborne fibers causes cancer.
• Created from clothing manufacturing remnants (denim, T-shirts). Comes in batts like fiberglass.
• Treated with a natural, boron-based fire retardant/pest inhibitor.
• Doesn’t itch; easy to handle.
• Contains no formaldehyde.
• Difficult to cut; takes longer to install.
Source: Rich MacMath, architect, Austin Energy Green Building Program; Green Building Products (Building Green, 2005).
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