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Building Homes With Lower Carbon Footprints Using Cellulose Insulation

Architects and builders have an easy way of lowering the amount of man-made carbon into the atmosphere by trapping it in the walls of buildings and homes as energy-efficient cellulose insulation.

Graphic of cellulose insulation low carbon home

Carbon Sinks

Scientists around the world are working overtime trying to find ways to lower the carbon footprint made by humans. One method is to sequester the carbon dioxide produced by humans so it cannot reenter the atmosphere and cause global warming. Some scientists are proposing to capture carbon dioxide from power plants and pump it into large underground mines as “carbon sinks” to keep it from entering the atmosphere.

Mother Nature has the most effective method of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. When trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and convert it into plant cells containing carbon they trap or sequester it from the atmosphere. Thus, carbon in plants will not reenter the atmosphere until the wood or plant fiber is burned or decays.

Low Carbon Footprint Homes

Builders have a unique opportunity to differentiate their products as low carbon footprint homes, effectively making their houses mini “carbon sinks” by insulating the attics, walls and floors with Cellulose Insulation. A study by the Athena Institute found wood-intensive construction, including cellulose insulation, greatly reduce carbon over traditional frame construction in housing. Read the Prospectus For Carbon Neutral Housing(PDF of study) to learn more on the findings.

Waste paper is the carbon-rich raw material used to make cellulose insulation. When waste paper decays in landfills it produces greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide in the process. If this waste paper is recycled into Cellulose Insulation, it prevents it from reverting to greenhouse gases for the life of the structure, while also saving a tremendous amount of energy. No other building insulation can do this.

In 2007, about 3,000,000 tons of newspapers went to U.S. landfills. This paper could have been used to produce an additional 200,000,000 bags of Cellulose Insulation. There is so much paper going to landfills that if it were used to make Cellulose Insulation it could replace nearly all other types of insulation. Installed in millions of homes it would lower their carbon footprint by sequestering the carbon in cellulose insulation for years.

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