• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • r ranson
  • Nancy Reading
  • Anne Miller
  • Jay Angler
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
master gardeners:
  • Christopher Weeks
  • Timothy Norton
gardeners:
  • Matt McSpadden
  • Rachel Lindsay
  • Jeremy VanGelder

What to do with 4,416,000 packing peanuts?

 
pollinator
Posts: 1495
854
2
trees bike woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Under my attic eves, behind plastic mesh are four and half million packing peanuts.





The attic is a massive room with a staircase, windows and floor boards in need of renovation, but no roof insulation. I’m going to turn this amazing space into a guest suite with bedroom, study area, walk in wardrobe and bathroom. And include it in the houses thermal envelope with proper roof insulation. The eves will be used for storage. To do this I need to repurpose the peanuts . . . And so far, I’m drawing blanks.

So what to do with  4,416,000 packing peanuts . . . Any ideas!
 
master steward
Posts: 14884
Location: USDA Zone 8a
4114
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would start trying to feed them to mealworms:

https://permies.com/t/50485/composting/Mealworms-Eating-Styrofoam

https://permies.com/wiki/149177/ungarbage/Mealworms-Darkling-Diaries

Other than that maybe level them where they are to act as insulation for your attic.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3773
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
665
books composting toilet bee rocket stoves wood heat homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What are they made of? Not all packing peanuts are plastics. Some are cellulose based.

If the latter, compost them?
 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 13802
Location: SW Missouri
9222
2
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Personally, I'd drop them on Craigslist, come get them for free.
Not everyone can afford to insulate the way they want to. You might make someone VERY happy!
 
Michael Cox
pollinator
Posts: 3773
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
665
books composting toilet bee rocket stoves wood heat homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Pearl Sutton wrote:Personally, I'd drop them on Craigslist, come get them for free.
Not everyone can afford to insulate the way they want to. You might make someone VERY happy!



Forget my idea, this is MUCH better.
 
master steward
Posts: 7845
Location: Missouri Ozarks
4138
6
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Pearl Sutton wrote:Personally, I'd drop them on Craigslist, come get them for free.
Not everyone can afford to insulate the way they want to. You might make someone VERY happy!



This is a FANTASTIC idea!! I just might start using ours - as well as the styrofoam boxes and sheets, to do this, in the barn and big garage!
 
Edward Norton
pollinator
Posts: 1495
854
2
trees bike woodworking
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
On closer inspection, they are about 2/3rds polystyrene and 1/3 cellulose and mixed in together, so there’s no way I’m going to separate them. Bagging and craiglist sounds like the best option.

I should point out that they are rubbish at insulation for those of you thinking of using them that way. They work as a packing material because they create a lot of space which is filled with air. Air can easily move through packing peanuts. So their R value is really, really low. Most insulation works by stopping airflow completely. When I lived in the UK, we had a typical house built of brick with a cavity. The cavity was just air. When we had it filled with a blown in insulation it more than halved our heating bill. A gap was better than no gap, but when air can move its no longer adding much value.

I have 400sqft of eaves, two foot deep. That’s 800 cubic feet. There are 5,520 peanuts per cubic foot, so that’s how I know I have nearly four and half million of them!
 
steward
Posts: 15202
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
4634
7
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Package shipping companies might also be interested in them.  Maybe.  If you brought them to them in a way that they could put in their hopper.
 
Carla Burke
master steward
Posts: 7845
Location: Missouri Ozarks
4138
6
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Haasl wrote:Package shipping companies might also be interested in them.  Maybe.  If you brought them to them in a way that they could put in their hopper.



Small business owners - particularly those who have online shops, and have to ship everything might also be interested. Those things aren't quite as cheap as one might think.
 
Edward Norton
pollinator
Posts: 1495
854
2
trees bike woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yesterday I headed up to the attic room to get a better hands on understanding. The underside of the roof has no insulation and a mass of roofing nails sticking through the plywood, so now a designated “hard hat” area. The spacing between the rafters is a bit random, so I’m going to have to improvise with the rafter vents / baffles. The rafters are deep enough for 6 inches of insulation. The end walls both have windows which are double glazed. The walls are badly insulated, so I will repeat what I’ve done in the basement, starting with a thin 4mm R15 layer of insulation, then 4 inch studs for regular insulation and then finish with boards.

Under the eves is going to be a long boring job. What I thought was just packing chips is a whole mixture of nasty stuff including bits of old roofing tiles, random off cuts and splinters of wood and ply, and bits and pieces of insulation, including some big pieces but nothing worth recovering. And cat hair . . . On closer inspection I can see evidence of insulation between the rafters, tiny tufts caught on splinters of wood. My theory is that the house once had a fully functioning attic room with an insulated roof. When the previous owner had the roof replaced, everything bar the rafters was removed and a lot of it dumped in the eves, which were then covered up with packing peanuts. So rather than bagging and donating the chips, I now have to sift through, extracting big chunks of ply, the odd board and bag the waste for disposal. Fortunately it’s 4’C outside this morning, so the attic is a comfortable temp to work in as I’m in full PPE.

79F50C52-0EA9-401D-87D1-703E34847CDF.jpeg
Packing peanuts, splinters of ply, bits of roofing tiles and fibreglass insulation
Packing peanuts, splinters of ply, bits of roofing tiles and fibreglass insulation
 
rocket scientist
Posts: 5887
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
2843
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
OH My Gosh Ed;
What a mess for you to clean up!
Thank goodness it is fall or you would melt under that uninsulated roof!
The good news is that at least the roof has been replaced in recent history and you're not dealing with leakage!

Keep up the excellent work my friend... its a dirty job but you (or Mike Roe) are just the guy to get it done!
You will be the PEP king when this property is up to your standards!
download.jpg
[Thumbnail for download.jpg]
 
pollinator
Posts: 3615
Location: 4b
1307
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
EPIC building?
 
gardener
Posts: 828
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
589
forest garden fungi foraging trees urban chicken medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That is quite the situation under the eaves. Sorry you have to sort through all that. I had to do some similar work in my own house and it was incredibly back hurty. So please make sure that you're paying heed to your ergonomics and taking frequent breaks to check in with your back!
 
Mike Haasl
steward
Posts: 15202
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
4634
7
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Edward Norton wrote:The walls are badly insulated, so I will repeat what I’ve done in the basement, starting with a thin 4mm R15 layer of insulation

Is that a typo?  That would be some amazing insulation!
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 13802
Location: SW Missouri
9222
2
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Edward: Can you use a blower or fan to get the foam out of the wood stuff? That would make it safer to deal with the heavier debris.
 
Edward Norton
pollinator
Posts: 1495
854
2
trees bike woodworking
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Haasl wrote:

Edward Norton wrote:The walls are badly insulated, so I will repeat what I’ve done in the basement, starting with a thin 4mm R15 layer of insulation

Is that a typo?  That would be some amazing insulation!



Good spot - it’s 5mm thick!

I looked everywhere for something to insulate the basement and provide a vapour barrier. I eventually found some stuff on Amazon:

SmartShield - 5mm 48” x 100’

“ Insulation (R15), Radiant Barrier, Vapor Barrier, Sound Barrier.” - at less than $1 / sqft.

It’s nice to work with and I’ve cut a piece for my car front windshield.

I don’t need all it’s functionality for an attic wall, but I’d use it just for it’s thickness and R value.
 
Edward Norton
pollinator
Posts: 1495
854
2
trees bike woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Pearl Sutton wrote:Edward: Can you use a blower or fan to get the foam out of the wood stuff? That would make it safer to deal with the heavier debris.



That was my 3am thought, except suck, not blow! It went along the lines a trash can, some 3inch hose and my shop vac to build a cyclone and suck them out.
 
Mike Haasl
steward
Posts: 15202
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
4634
7
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ahh, gotcha, that radiant stuff.  So, I believe, to get the full R15 it needs a particular air gap on either side of the material.  If it's just placed against a wall with something against the other side the R value is fairly lower.  But I could be wrong...
 
pollinator
Posts: 782
Location: Appalachian Foothills-Zone 7
194
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Edward Norton wrote:

Mike Haasl wrote:

Edward Norton wrote:The walls are badly insulated, so I will repeat what I’ve done in the basement, starting with a thin 4mm R15 layer of insulation

Is that a typo?  That would be some amazing insulation!



Good spot - it’s 5mm thick!

I looked everywhere for something to insulate the basement and provide a vapour barrier. I eventually found some stuff on Amazon:

SmartShield - 5mm 48” x 100’

“ Insulation (R15), Radiant Barrier, Vapor Barrier, Sound Barrier.” - at less than $1 / sqft.

It’s nice to work with and I’ve cut a piece for my car front windshield.

I don’t need all it’s functionality for an attic wall, but I’d use it just for it’s thickness and R value.



Sorry, there is no way that product is R15.  Possibly a typo on R1.5.

If there is any space to leave any of the peanuts, you can improve their performance by blending them with a finer insulation such as perlite or possibly cellulose, loose rock wool or fiberglass.
 
Carla Burke
master steward
Posts: 7845
Location: Missouri Ozarks
4138
6
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good LORD, Edward! I must admit - I highly doubt I'd have bought the house, with all the messes you're having to deal with, because frankly, I couldn't physically do it, much less have the patience. But, I'm very glad you're doing it! I think, rather than merely building new buildings, it makes so very much sense - on almost every level, and whenever possible - to fix what's broken. I can't wait to see your end results!
 
Edward Norton
pollinator
Posts: 1495
854
2
trees bike woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Gray Henon wrote:
Sorry, there is no way that product is R15.  Possibly a typo on R1.5.



They sell over a 2 billion sqft a year and it’s ISO9000 company, so no, it’s not a typo.
They also sell in the UK and EU where there are stricter regulations when it comes to makes claims about your product.
This is the same tech that Nasa use.
 
Gray Henon
pollinator
Posts: 782
Location: Appalachian Foothills-Zone 7
194
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Edward Norton wrote:

Gray Henon wrote:
Sorry, there is no way that product is R15.  Possibly a typo on R1.5.



They sell over a 2 billion sqft a year and it’s ISO9000 company, so no, it’s not a typo.
They also sell in the UK and EU where there are stricter regulations when it comes to makes claims about your product.
This is the same tech that Nasa use.



Mike is certainly onto something.  The material can be used with airspaces to achieve higher R values, but the R value of material itself is relatively low.  Most competing products do not list an R value. I couldn’t find any information from the manufacturer of your product detailing the R values for various installation methods other than the graphic in the product listing.  I did find the information below from Reflectix, a competing product, as well as an article discussing the issue.  I am not trolling you, I just want you to get what you think you are getting.

https://cdn.reflectixinc.com/wp-content/uploads/DIY-Air-Space-Requirements.pdf

https://neo.ne.gov/info/neq/neq-archive/2014-08-aug/aug2014.02.htm









 
Posts: 41
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have to disagree with Edward Norton, the closed air space is what makes it insulated. A pane of glass has very little R value. Fiberglass insulation has lots of air space.
Same material, different method of manufacture. Again it's the air space in between the glass fibers that makes fiberglass insulted. Air has a hard time moving through
small closed air spaces.

Personally, I would collect the foam peanuts from work and put them in plastic grocery bags, tie the ends and throw them up in the attic. A foot of foam peanuts
in my attic are amazing at keeping my house insulated in the summer. I can't say how well they work in the winter, because I have no insulation in the walls and single
pane windows are about as good as leaving the windows open.

I've been told by a coworker, that if I have a house fire the fire department won't put it out. Because of the smoke fumes. So what do they do with foam board insultation?


 
Posts: 117
Location: central Pennsylvania
14
5
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Edward Norton wrote:

I looked everywhere for something to insulate the basement and provide a vapour barrier. I eventually found some stuff on Amazon:

SmartShield - 5mm 48” x 100’

“ Insulation (R15), Radiant Barrier, Vapor Barrier, Sound Barrier.” - at less than $1 / sqft.

It’s nice to work with and I’ve cut a piece for my car front windshield.

I don’t need all it’s functionality for an attic wall, but I’d use it just for it’s thickness and R value.



Our 1925 home has no insulation at all.  I put three layers of carpet pieces on the floor throughout my attic to get some, any, insulation. It was free, what can I say, so it met that need at least.  Anyway, would this product work against the roof?  What kind of air gap would it need?  In the summer it's often over 115° in the attic, which is felt in our bedrooms;  any warmth there in the winter is our heat going up and away.  So might this be an inexpensive, easy to install solution?
 
Posts: 234
11
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Edward Norton wrote:Yesterday I headed up to the attic room to get a better hands on understanding. The underside of the roof has no insulation and a mass of roofing nails sticking through the plywood, so now a designated “hard hat” area.



What is the roofing material? Why not just spray foam [FULL] the entire rafter area and then add a couple of humongous attic fan vents to move out summer heat? OR, put in a reflective barrier using 2x2 or less pieces of wood nailed to the rafters for said reflective barrier.


Edward Norton wrote:The spacing between the rafters is a bit random, so I’m going to have to improvise with the rafter vents / baffles. The rafters are deep enough for 6 inches of insulation.



Prolly much faster to shoot in nailers and just cut 3/8" OSB as your rafter baffles. What is the actual rood slope? It looks to be not very steep.
 
Posts: 89
Location: Kalapuya Land, West of Cascades (600' elevation; 44°N. Lat.) Sandy/Silty Soil
20
forest garden fungi foraging food preservation bee wood heat
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Small shipping stores (like where I work) might be interested in accepting donations of CLEAN foam peanuts.
We get donations of sooo much packaging material (not just peanuts); the stuff with dirt, dead bugs and rodent droppings we can't use :(

According to some videos I watched, pure Acetone will dissolve styrofoam rapidly into a gelatinous glue  (though when I tried it with my sister's nailpolish remover I was thoroughly disappointed).

Though none of the above helps your particular attic situation, I'm sorry to say.
Lots of tedious work for busy little hands shuffling them into bags-  i know a little about cleaning up big spills of packing peanuts >:(

Good Luck.



 
Live large! And I'm talking to you tiny ad!
19 skiddable structures microdoc - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/t/138333/skiddable-structures-microdoc-FREE
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic