Why Cellulose Insulation is the “Greenest Of The Green”
Turning waste paper and old newspapers into insulation is a simple idea. It just makes sense to divert tons and tons of paper from landfills and use it to create one of the most effective insulation products available. Instead of allowing all that paper to decompose and release harmful gases into the atmosphere it can be used in attics, walls and crawl spaces to insulate just about any structure. Using cellulose insulation actually traps carbon in the structure for the life of the building further minimizing green house gases.
Cellulose insulation is made from a renewable natural resource in the form of wood cell matter that requires very low levels of energy to produce. This not only limits greenhouse gas emissions during the manufacturing process but also prevents waste paper from releasing environmentally harmful gases as it decomposes in landfills. It’s just one of the many added benefits in addition to the primary cellulose insulation purpose of lowering energy usage to reduce waste and make buildings more comfortable.
If all of the paper currently being put into landfills was converted to Cellulose insulation, it would save 7,030,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions per year! That’s the equivalent of taking all the cars off the road in Nevada and New Mexico.
Here are some key “Green” facts about Cellulose insulation:
- Cellulose takes less energy to make than any other insulation material. Fiberglass, the leading insulation among homeowners, has 10 times more embodied energy than cellulose. Petroleum-based foam insulation products have even higher levels of embodied energy.
- Cellulose has the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled content in the industry – up to 85% recycled newspaper. Paper is the largest component of landfills and producing Cellulose insulation diverts waste from the landfills thus saving valuable space.
- Cellulose insulation prevents the release of greenhouse gases (methane) that would otherwise be produced from paper as it decomposes in landfills.
- Cellulose insulation naturally breaks down after its useful life–unlike fiberglass or foam which do not. In the event of a natural disaster, cellulose insulation will leave only non-toxic, biodegradable material for clean-up rather than debris that will never decompose.
- Cellulose insulation can be locally produced. Using local recycling programs and independent recyclers to serve communities close to home brings new meaning to the old slogan “Think Globally, Act Locally.”
Currently, fiberglass is the most common form of insulation used in home construction and renovation. As you will see in posts on this site, the performance of fiberglass is inferior to Cellulose insulation especially when the temperature drops below freezing. Our goal is to educate and inform the community about the environmental impacts of the choices they make with regard to insulation.
You can visit our website to learn more about Cellulose insulation.