Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's blue, it's fuzzy, and it's gonna keep me warm this winter!

Yes - the studio is still under construction, but we're getting closer to finished! This past weekend we installed the insulation using a "green" product made from recycled denim. So really, it's blue. But it's green. You can read more about it here. What they say on the website is true - it's green (I know, I know, it's blue...), it has no chemical irritants, it's fairly easy to handle, and the "oversized widths" do "ensure a tight friction fit and fill capacity" which means that, for the most part it stays where you put it. But in the interest of full disclosure, here's what else you should know. First - it's more expensive. Somewhere, somehow, someone has got to address the fact that the expense of "green" products is prohibitive to a lot of people. In fact, we had a difference of opinion in our household and it's just because I'm well loved (and stubborn) that we went with this product as opposed to having a company come in and install fiberglass insulation for almost half the cost. That's right. For almost half the cost of just the materials using the recycled denim we could have paid for both the fiberglass insulation and the installation. Thus the reason we did the installation of the denim product ourselves. If we had paid a company to install the denim it would have been three times the cost of the fiberglass. So... you really gotta wanna use this stuff.

Second - yes, it's safe and all, but it's treated with a boron-based fire retardant, which is a good thing, but I don't really want to be breathing that stuff. That, combined with the fact that we're talking about bazillions of tiny cotton fibers everywhere means we all wore dust masks. If you have a gladiator respiratory system I suppose you could forego that, but I don't. So to avoid inhaling what looked like the contents of lots and lots of dryer lint traps, we wore masks. Which made the physical work unpleasant. That, combined with the fact it was very warm this weekend, made the work more physically taxing than we thought it would be. We were pooped.

Third - while you can safely handle the stuff with your bare hands (my brother and husband did with no complaints) I chose to wear gloves. I have pretty sensitive skin so just wanted to play it safe.

Fourth - and this is kind of important - while it's light and easy to handle and stays where you put it - it's not that easy to tear/cut for those smaller spaces. We ended up doing a lot of tearing which got old pretty quickly. (I have really small hands so had a harder time. Hubby and bro did not have as much difficulty.) I should mention I've never installed any kind of insulation before so don't have anything to compare to, but my reasons for going with a green product haven't changed and I'd make the same choice again. In the end, it has to do with how I want to walk my journey on this planet. Stay tuned for more updates as we progress, including no-VOC paints (ay yay yay... what color? Definitely not blue!) and no-VOC concrete stain and sealer.

The What I Love Series #5: Polkadots

Really - need I say more?