Electricity hikes, climate change and polluted oceans are the topics of many conversations which South Africans are having more often now than ever before. The conclusion more often than not is that we need to live more environmentally responsible lives. However, many specifiers are unaware of the significant impact their choice of insulation can make – not only on the thermal and acoustic comfort of the homeowner, but also on the environment.
Thermguard insulation is a cellulose fibre, loosefill insulation made from more than 80% recycled newspaper, with a number of harmless household chemicals added to ensure that the insulation is fire retardant, as well as insect and rodent repellent. This makes Thermguard the most environmentally friendly bulk insulation commercially available. The company was established in 1984 with the commitment to reduce the amount of waste newspaper going to landfill, by recycling it and creating a beneficial product, whilst supporting South Africa’s local manufacturing industry. In the past year alone, the company has recycled more than 1100 tons of newspaper, saving 3 300 m3 of landfill space.
Some of the many advantages of Thermguard
Sustainable and recycled
Newspaper is made from local plantations of renewable and sustainably grown, carbon absorbing trees. Thermguard insulation is manufactured from 80-85% post-consumer recycled newspaper (one of the largest parts of our waste stream) which would otherwise be dumped in landfills, using up valuable space and creating greenhouse gases whilst decomposing.
The non-recycled additives in Thermguard are environmentally preferable to the raw materials used in blanket insulation as they are non-toxic and natural. Borate additives give Thermguard the fire retardation to meet South Africa’s SANS 428 test criteria, and is classified B/B1/2, meaning that it stops flames from spreading These natural salts and minerals are also used in agriculture to promote plant health; stop and prevent wet and dry rot in timber and have various uses in the household and medical fields. While the borate additives in Thermguard are harmless to humans and pets, they will irritate insects and rodents so that they will not live in the material or use it to build a nest. The result is that Thermguard is a passive, yet effective, pest control measure. Cellulose fibre insulation is also 100% biodegradable and will not negatively affect ecosystems or wildlife.
Embodied energy and water
The embodied energy of Thermguard is by far the lowest compared to all other insulation materials commercially available. Furnace-made insulation materials (fibreglass and polyester) require between 10 and 15 times more energy, and 20 to 100 times more water to produce compared to cellulose fibre.
When Thermguard is blown into your ceiling, it fills every nook and cranny and gives 100% coverage,
which ensures that no heat gains or losses can occur. Thermguard is easily blown over items such as pipes, brandering, and wiring – leaving no air pockets which would reduce the overall effectiveness of any insulation.
Unsustainable decisions of past generations have severely affected our planet’s ecosystems. The decisions we make from this point on will affect the sustainability of our planet for all future generations. Remember, Thermguard is ‘Recycled for Your Future
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