Green building is featured in the news often, and for good reason. Not only are many green building materials more sustainable and better for the environment, but many are also healthier for humans because the materials contain fewer toxins or volatile organic compounds (VOC) that can lead to health issues. Insulation may be hidden out of sight in your walls, but that is no reason not to consider green insulation types for your home.
Spray foam insulation may not seem like a green choice initially, as it is made from polyurethane. The reason it deserves consideration, though, is because of its versatility and insulating ability. Spray foam insulation can be installed in hard-to-reach areas where other forms of insulation can't be used. It also provides good R-value, even in these small spaces. You won't need as much insulation to reach higher insulation levels, which means fewer synthetic insulation materials are used overall. Further, you can opt for low-VOC insulation that won't produce as much harmful off-gassing. Spray foam can be used in conjunction with other eco-friendly insulation options to ensure full insulation coverage in your home.
Cellulose insulation is made primarily of recycled paper products, mainly newsprint, which means your insulation choice is both made of natural plant fibers and is keeping items out of the landfill. The cellulose fibers are mixed with natural fire retardants to ensure it is a safe product for your home. Cellulose insulation is typically blown in, which means a small hole is drilled into your wall and then the insulation is blown into the void in between the wallboards and studs. It provides a similar insulation level as less environmentally friendly fiberglass options, so it is a good option in any home where fiberglass would otherwise be used.
The most common natural fiber insulation types are made of either denim or wool. Denim insulation is a cotton product made from recycled jeans, which means there are no volatile gasses or dangerous chemicals, and it removes old denim from the waste stream. Denim insulation is comparable to fiberglass insulation when it comes to insulative values. Another option is wool. Wool can actually insulate even better than fiberglass and other natural options. Further, it is naturally fire-retardant so there is no need to have additional materials added for safety reasons.
Contact an insulation service in your area to learn more about the available environmentally friendly wall insulation options.