Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Climate change is being discussed...on every programme on tv and the radio it seems...why? Well of course all the great and the good are currently discussing whether we are going to save the world or not in Copenhagen at the Climate change summit....
Save the world...oh come on...really? YES REALLY!!!
We just cannot carry on behaving like idiots and I mean really dumb stupid idiots! We have finite resources of many of the things we take for granted like oil! Trouble is so many people expect to carry on regardless of the consequences......a lot of people say to me how lovely it is to see a green business thriving and thats great, until they then buy the cheapest option....

For example say they need some roof insulation....they consider wool,....( "but well really, it IS expensive isn't it?").....so they pop down to the local DIY store where there is a BOGOF (buy one get one free) on rockwool, polystyrene board or fibre glass insulation (" Oh it was soooo much cheaper we bought enough for the garage too")

But what is wrong with that approach I hear you say? There house will be warmer and emit a lot less in carbon and they will save money on the heating bills, surely there is not a problem?

Well....sheeps wool insulation may be a bit more expensive to buy but it does the same job in lessening carbon emmissions and lowering bills BUT it does a whole lot more besides.
Firstly the energy required to make the same amount of rockwool is.....approx 85% more!!!
add to that transport costs = lots of oil AND then once installed if it is to be disposed of years later is not recyclable nor compostable and has to go into landfill!
Fibre glass....often marketed as recycled glass bottles....has a similar problem....the cost of transporting, recycling and reprocessing is enormous, and again is not re recyclable nor compostable.....and must go to ......landfill!
Polystyrene and foam board.....well what can I say.....made of oil, and very difficult to dispose of...I saw lots of both in a load of builders waste at the local tip!!
Wool..... is readily available within possibly a max of 20 miles of your front door presently keeping a sheep warm, renewable, recyclable, compostable, and its NOT going to cost the earth.....

So to those who think they can do their bit by going down to the DIY store, buying some cheap insulation, changing the odd lightbulb and possibly scrapping their gas guzzling car to take advantage of the government scheme to reduce older cars on the road to by a smaller one....
who then pat themselves on the back for being so 'green' and then go and book a 5p flight to Barcelona .......well done.....but its not quite this simple.....

5 comments:

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

And when they do fly to Barcelona Val, all they need to do is to plant a tree or two and as if by magic, all those high emmisions and pollution are removed in an instant from the sky.

It's all called 'Greenwash' Val... now where is that nearest wall?

Val Grainger said...

....don't get me going on that one Peter!!! We will need several countries to volunteer to take all the carbon offsetting trees soon....shame they cannot keep the lovely rainforest ones or ancient forest they originally had from being cut down to start with eh!

Woodlander said...

Agree with you Val...except...

the glass fibre insulation is NOT the same stuff as the plastic bottle insulation...one is made from glass fibres, the other is made from melted, spun, recycled PET bottles....thus closing the recycling loop for a material made from an oil based material.

if someone doesn't buy wool insulation, the wool will compost down...but if they don't buy the recycled plastic bottle insulation an oil based material would have gone to landfill...

Which is why we have just bought the plastic bottle based insulation...as it closes the recycling loop and also keeps an oil based ( valuable resource!) material out of landfill and subsequently doing a good job insulation our roof.

Val Grainger said...

Yes Woodlander Plastic bottle insulation is not the same as fibre glass....BUT it has the same problem! It closes the loop in some ways but it never goes away....the plastic remains albeit as insulation, its just putting off the disposal problem until later!
It is acceptable to use it but not without making the point that possibly no more plastic should be produced without a thought for its disposal in what could be tens of years time!

Blu said...

Interesting subject, I have no idea about costs on any of the above. I believe the last stuff we purchased was fibre glass rockwool?