Here at Foam It Green we couldn’t be more excited that environmental awareness is growing in popularity.
Going green cuts back on waste, conserves natural resources and, most importantly, makes the world a healthier place for future generations. When you make efforts to go green, you show your commitment to the future.
But, unfortunately, not all companies see it that way.
Some companies see the green movement as a trend that they can exploit for profit. They simply add the word “Green” or “Eco” to their packaging in order to drum up sales.
At the International Builders Show this year in Las Vegas, almost every major brand proclaimed itself green, but there were few substantial changes to the product or the way they did business.
Now, take a moment and ask yourself, do you think meatloaf is a vegetarian recipe because it contains half a cup of onions?
Would you believe a company that marketed meatloaf that way?
No, you would laugh at the absurdity of the claim, and the company would be mocked on the headline news.
Then why is it that many products can get away with claiming they’re “green” based on an added ingredient?
Cleaning products are great examples because they don’t claim to have a green benefit like saving energy. So, if the ingredient doesn’t have a green effect, then what does make it green? The way it’s produced?
That’s what these companies would like you to think, but the net ecological effect of including natural ingredients is notoriously hard to calculate.
Is it better to grow more lemons for a cleaning liquid than use X chemicals (or worse still, just add the lemons too)? Are biofuels better for the environment even if they drive deforestation?
An analysis of this give and take is very difficult to come by, so why go with these less effective ingredients?
Speaking of vegetarian, soy is a product which is commonly seen as ”green”, despite the fact that it is one of the most genetically modified crops in the world.
But, the reality of soy matters much less than the public perception. And some spray foam companies are using that cache to sell insulation.
Soy-based spray foams are popular now because they clearly have a natural ingredient. However, most soy-based spray foams still require lots of petroleum in their production. Whoa, I bet that wasn’t clear in the marketing, was it?
So, now you know that soy isn’t as ”green” as most people think, and soy-based foam requires additional petroleum for production.
But, it must be more effective then, right?
Almost all of them are open cell foams. Now why does this matter? Because open cell foams have a lower R-value, they’re less able to seal out air and they retain moisture.
In just 1 inch, closed cell foams seal out the air leaks that are wasting up to 40% of the energy used to heat and cool our nation’s buildings. Now you see why the U.S. Green Building Council loves closed cell spray foam insulation.
They believe that a little petroleum used to save a lot of petroleum to heat and cool homes is well worth it.
Energy efficient windows would still be green if their production requires embodied energy and resources, because they save much more energy than it costs to make them.
Likewise, it requires less energy to make closed cell spray foam kits.
Moreover, they save much more energy because they seal out air like no other insulation.
In closing, we need to out-smart the companies who are sticking “Eco” or “Green” on their product without much thought and without changing their ways.
Maybe more natural ingredients make something Greener, but environmental impacts are not always clear to end consumers.
The cleanest and clearest way is to ask about the environmental impacts themselves: does it save more energy, does it reduce our carbon footprint, or reduce our demands on the earth? If so, then that’s green.
And if that green product saves you a little green too, what could be better?