Guest Author - Jacqueline Rosenbalm
Finally, a sustainable insulation product produced solely from renewable organic material that is 100% biodegradable and chemical free. It requires no special protection equipment to handle because it doesn't require chemical adhesives like formaldehyde to hold it together. It is naturally fire retardant without the chemical treatment required by other types of insulation. This revolutionary product called Greensulate was invented by Eben Bayer and Gavin McInyre, a couple of college students working together to win a contest, as assigned by their college professor, to produce a form of sustainable insulation.
One of the most interesting capabilities of this insulation is that it can be grown to shape as needed. Yes, it is grown. It is made from oyster mushrooms spores, hydrogen peroxide, water, starch and perlite or other organic growing medium like seed hulls or husk. The last stage of manufacture is a drying process that stops the growth of the mycelium and kills any allergenic spores.
Greensulate has many applications similar to Styrofoam as shipping containers or fillers to protect fragile products we like to ship. One application we may not be familiar with is in the automotive industry. Petroleum based plastic foams are found in bumpers, dashboards, seats, roofs and doors of modern cars. It is useful to absorb impact, as well as insulating you from both the weather and outdoor noise. Although it is not currently available to the general public in all its applications, there are a few packaging products and sheet insulation products that are available at the Ecovative Design website.
Greensulate is a better alternative than any foam product that is currently on the market derived from petroleum because it is earth friendly, doesn't release VOCís (Volatile Organic Compounds), it is totally recyclable, it has very good acoustical sound attenuation, it passes accelerated aging tests and is naturally fire retardant without any added chemicals.
The binding technology of the mycelium is far superior to volatile chemical resins or polyurethane glue and presents itself as an excellent way to manufacture furniture, lightweight vehicle parts and surfboards as well as replacements for composite construction materials like particle board and fiberboard, engineered joists and other structural building components.
The future for this innovative material is bright although varied and complex. It is capable of replacing so many of the petrochemical based products that currently pollutes our world. This product and its inventors have won over 20 awards since the inception of the idea came to life in 2008. I am certain that this product will be making news in the future as more uses come to light and as the products become commercially available to the general public in larger quantities.
As always, I try to keep you abreast of any new and innovative green products as they come available. It is my mission to help you to live naturally, sustainable and healthy. If you know of any similar products or have used Greensulate I would love to hear about your experiences, feel free to comment below or use the Natural Living forum.