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Efficiently Green 

In today's world, living an environmentally responsible lifestyle has become a priority for a growing number of people. Recycling paper and plastic, choosing organic and locally grown produce, driving a fuel-efficient or hybrid car, wearing clothes made from organic cotton " these are all ways that each of us can help reduce the carbon footprint we leave on the earth. But did you know that insulating your home can be environmentally friendly as well?

Green Bean Insulation (2513 Cleveland Ave., 914-0591; www.greenbeaninsulation.com) offers homeowners yet another way to participate in the growing green movement. The young business " which owner Kurt Buchert founded after returning to New Orleans from Dallas, where he lived for a few months following Hurricane Katrina " offers eco-friendly alternatives to typical housing insulation.

The business offers two types of spray-foam insulation. 'We're the largest spray-foam installer in the city," Buchert says. 'One is made from a sugarcane-based product. And we also do cellulose insulation, which is made from recycled newspaper." He adds that the latter type of insulation is treated with borate to make it moisture, pest and fire resistant.

The spray-foam products are becoming increasingly popular and work well on walls, attics and underneath floors of raised homes. Green Bean installs the foam in new construction, renovations, old wood-frame houses, existing plaster or sheetrock walls, metal warehouses, century-old shotgun homes, steel-frame structures, brick buildings, garages, barges, commercial roofs and between first and second floors or walls for soundproofing.

Buchert was introduced to the idea of environmentally friendly insulation after he had some of his rental properties sprayed. Today, Green Bean Insulation's 12 employees install the spray-foam and cellulose products in houses and commercial buildings across the metro area and beyond. 'We've done jobs from Lafayette to Biloxi," Buchert says, 'but 90 percent of our jobs are in the city."

He is committed to the growing green movement for a few reasons, he says, citing increasing utility bills as one and global warming as another.

'It's becoming unaffordable to live in older homes in New Orleans if you don't insulate them properly," Buchert says, adding that, on a more global level, people simply 'cannot afford to use our resources like we've used them in the past."

All of the products Green Bean uses are backed by a manufacturer's lifetime warranty.

click to enlarge Kurt Buchert's company, Green Bean Insulation, offers eco-friendly insulation solutions for residential and commercial buildings.
  • Kurt Buchert's company, Green Bean Insulation, offers eco-friendly insulation solutions for residential and commercial buildings.
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