Using cloth as insulation is as old as the medieval tapestry. In the nineteenth century however insulation was mainly achieved through thick timbers and hollow cavity walls. With the lighter building techniques that came into vogue in the twentieth century better insulation was needed and fiberglass became the standard. Fiberglass is irratating to skin eyes and lungs to the point being carcinogenic, much like asbestos, and is bound together with formaldehyde-based adhesives.
It turns out that the coyotes stripped the insulation out of our attic, leaving behind just enough traces to let us know it had been there. Rather than reinstalling toxins above our heads we found an alternative technology. UltraTouch insulation made from an older fiber, recycled blue jeans. We can install it ourselves without respirators and protective clothing and we will be able to safely use our attic for storage. Lisa from Olive Branch Building Supply in North Park talks about the product and its installation.
In 2010 a family of four sold their charming little condo in the increasingly fashionable neighborhood of University Heights. With the money they bought a stripped out house in East San Diego previously owned by human smugglers. Their goal was a radical change in lifestyle that would allow DIY Makerism, self reliance, alternative technology, permaculture, and urban homesteading into their lives in ways their HOA would have never allowed. The ideas that lead them to take this plunge came from the steampunk movement as it was during a brief shining period when art and philosophy seemed at least as important as brass, and great essays, speeches, and letters were written. These days they don't worry so much about what people call "steampunk." They call what they're doing the Greyshade Estate.
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