This family documents how they’re making their home renovation as sustainable as possible, from salvaging materials to installing super-effective hemp insulation.
Interior designer Rita Donahoe and her husband, Brogan, are the creators of a passion project they call Good Ancestor Co. (@goodancestorco).
In a recent Instagram Reel, the Donahoes show a snippet of their insulation installation process.
But in their video, they aren’t covered head to toe to protect themselves from the fiberglass dust of traditional insulation — no, the Donahoes even had help from their young children installing their non-toxic, plant-based hemp insulation.
In the caption of their reel, the Donahoes wrote, “we love knowing that our walls will be filled with sustainable, high performing, healthy material that keeps us cozy in the winter and cool in the summer.”
Hemp is versatile and can be grown as a renewable material. It rarely needs chemical applications like fertilizers or pesticides, which means non-toxic results. It’s also a powerhouse — hemp can remove five times more carbon pollution from the air than trees.
As insulation, hemp is just as insulative, soundproof, and mold resistant as fiberglass insulation and is much more pleasant to install.
With high R-values and low U-values, hemp insulation excellently reduces the amount of air that enters and exits a home through its walls.
The breathable hemp fibers within the insulation give it the added benefit of moisture control. Vapor can travel through this insulation and ultimately dissipate, helping to control the humidity within a home.
Arguably, the best feature of hemp insulation is that it’s carbon negative. As the Donahoes explained, growing hemp can remove more carbon pollution from the air than the pollution that is released while manufacturing it.
Most comments were positive and curious. One person commented, “that’s awesome!” while another said, “wish I knew about this earlier!”
Among the oohs and aahs in the comments, one user asked, “does it get all scratchy on the skin?”
The Donahoes responded, “not at all! It’s actually soft and safe enough for our kids to handle!”