Saturday, April 10, 2010

Building Products: "Blue Jean" Insulation

As someone who recently renovated one home and is buying another (call me crazy), I've been watching an awful lot of home renovation programs on TV. What I like about these programs is that they teach you not only tried and true techniques that my father and grandfather used, but they also introduce new tools and products that modern technology brings us.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about energy efficiency since this new home will be the first time I've had to pay for heat on a per-use basis. Our new house is quite old and will no doubt need some insulation. While "spray-foam" seems to be the most popular right now and claims to be the most environmentally friendly in terms of energy efficiency, I have concerns about end-of-life disposal of the product (even though I probably won't be around when that happens).

A couple of weeks ago, I spotted a product on TV that seemed awesome. It's batt insulation, similar to pink fiberglass, except it's made out of scrap cotton denim fibers and treated with natural borax for fire retardency, as an insect repellent, and for other reasons. You heard right--this product is made from scraps of blue jeans.

Most people don't realize that there's a lot of waste in the clothing manufacturing industry and that's before the pants, shirts, or whatever, make it into your drawer. Know those legs and arms they need to cut around? The scraps normally go into the landfill. It's nice to know they can be made into something very practical such as insulation or even yarn for your next sweater or scarf project.

1 comment:

  1. I saw an episode of Ask This Old House that covered modern insulation options. I was intrigued by the denim and cellulose varieties, especially when I heard how well they work.


I welcome comments. However, please be courteous of others when commenting. I always reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.