Going green, greener, greenest

Are Asheville folks really interested in going green?

In celebration of Earth Day, I attended the Leadership Asheville Forum’s “Going GREEN at Home and at Work” presentation. I listened attentively to the three male speakers and the questions that followed. One woman asked what could be done for existing structures to make them more environmentally friendly. I raised my hand, and when recognized, I told the audience about a product that I used some three-and-a-half years ago in the interior paint of my home to better insulate it.

The insulation material is a product developed by NASA out of space-shuttle tiles as a paint additive for any paint, interior or exterior. This is an easy, cost-effective way to save energy in any building or home. This is a simple but powerful solution for energy conservation. However, since this example came from an older woman, the audience just laughed at the idea.

How sad that only folks who have environmental businesses and will make money from their ideas are taken seriously. This insulation powder was first used on shuttle flights in 1996 and has been used on all subsequent shuttle flights. The powder is microscopic ceramic spheres that, when dried with paint, form a radiant-heat barrier. This NASA spin-off product has been available to the public for about four years.

You ask how a retired senior woman could know about such technology? I was a teacher for 35 years. For 23 years, I was a science teacher and even participated in the Teacher in Space programs at NASA. So NASA has always had a special place in my heart, and I keep up with their developments.

Before this insulation product was released for commercial use, it was tested by all of the branches of our military, even the U.S. Navy Artic Research Vessel. The product is advertised to reduce heating and cooling energy demands by 20 percent. Some of the research on the product claims as much as 40 percent energy savings.

As a city and a nation, I guess that we will be serious about “going green” when we can respectfully listen to everyone’s expertise and become willing to learn from everyone. I have had my environmental practices in place for 30 years already. You will find me daily, and year-round, emptying my dish, shower and cooking water back onto my yard. My inside air quality is superior, and all of my cleaners are green. As a science teacher, I was known affectionately as Mother Earth.

Just because baking soda and vinegar have been around for a long, long time does not mean that they don’t have value in helping us clean up our environment.  This is true for older women as well.

(P.S. In celebration of Earth Day, I had two fruit-bearing cherry trees planted in my yard.)

— P. Diane Chambers

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One thought on “Going green, greener, greenest

  1. Yay, Diane! I’ve been telling people about this in my lectures at the Southern Energy and Environment Expo (SEEExpo) for several years. When I moved into my current home I used an aluminized primer (also sold by HyTech Sales) and then added the powder to all paint for the inside of exterior walls and ceilings. As I got around to different rooms over a couple of years I could actually feel the difference in the rooms. (The insulating powder is a ceramic product, actually tiny “bubbles” with a vacuum inside each – like a jillion tiny thermos bottles.) It’s so fine it doesn’t change the texture or color of the paint and it works. For a couple of hundred dollars I had enough to do all appropriate surfaces in a 1300 s.f. house – far cheaper than trying to inject insulation into a 1905 frame structure.

    Frankly, I’m dumfounded that no major paint company (to my knowledge) hasn’t introduced a “green” line of paints with the stuff already mixed in.

    The fools in the conference room were the people who laughed at you.

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