We are all familiar with the pink fiberglass insulation but for the most part conventional insulation materials are synthetically produced and contain non-renewable, toxic, and often non-recyclable materials. Consumers are bombarded on a daily basis as to what is healthy and what is not. With the death of asbestos insulation and the once banned urea formaldehyde-based insulation, the focus has now turned to fiberglass. I am not an insulation connoisseur, so I am not going to go into great detail about what I believe is the best choice, but rather give you some options of what people are classifying as greener and healthier options:
Straw Bale-straw is a renewable resource that acts as an excellent insulation and has exceptional fire resistance due to the lack of air circulation that penetrates the bales.
Recycled Denim-made with post-industrial recycled denim, it saves waste from our landfills, made from cotton fibers, it is a rapidly renewable resource, holds more heat and absorbs sound, no formaldehyde or other VOC's (volatile organic compounds). Look at Bonded Logic's website to learn more.
Recycled Paper- a cellulose insulation derived from 100% recycled newsprint, doesn't have any formaldehyde, chlorofluorocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxic substances. It's a great alternative to blown fiberglass or bat insulation. It can be layered into walls being built, or blown into attic spaces and already sheetrocked walls for extra protection from the cold.
Sheep Wool-a highly effective insulation that is made from natural, sustainable, renewable and recyclable material, thermally and acoustically insulating and flame resistant.
Water Blown Soy-Based Polyurethane- It's easy to install and doesn't have any off-gassing, and even though it can cost a little more than other types of insulation, spray foam can actually save property owners up to 35% per year on energy bills This insulation seals your property's thermal envelope to make it more energy efficient while also blocking mold and mildew, controlling moisture, and repelling rodents and insects.
While there are many choices out there when it comes to finding a green and healthy choice of insulation, overall, look for insulation products with recycled or recyclable content, low emissions, no formaldehyde or other pollutants, and preferably made with rapidly renewable and natural resources.
Interested in touring some of Seattle's Green Homes? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website Live Green NW...connecting you with like-minded, healthy, sustainable, eco-friendly products, services, and HOMES.