Green aluminum foil (GAF) is an environmentally-friendly material that’s used to insulate aluminum foil and other foil from the elements.
But GAF is not a waste of money.
Aluminum foil is one of the most environmentally-intensive materials.
In fact, according to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, aluminum foil can cost the consumer anywhere from 10 to 25 cents per pound (PDF) to store and process.
Aluminum is also the most expensive plastic, and as a result, it’s often the most recycled plastic.
So, despite its high cost, GAF offers a number of environmental benefits.
For one, it can reduce the amount of plastic used to produce it.
In 2010, GAG was the only environmentally-compatible material to have a net net-zero carbon footprint (PDF).
It can be reused.
GAF can be recycled by simply cutting it up and storing it in a dryer.
And, it also has the advantage of not requiring any chemicals to be added to the product.
“It’s a great way to reuse aluminum foil,” says Jason Johnson, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
“If you want to reuse it, it costs you nothing.”
It doesn’t require a lot of space.
Unlike some other products, Gaf does not require a vacuum seal to be placed on the aluminum foil.
Instead, GAAF requires no special equipment, such as a vacuum or air-cooled condenser.
GAAFs can be used in a variety of ways, including to insulating and sealing products, and also to conduct electrical current.
It has low carbon footprint.
The carbon footprint of GAAFF is less than 1 percent, Johnson says.
And while it doesn’t have the same environmental benefits as other aluminum foil products, it has fewer environmental costs than GAF.
“When you use aluminum foil for insulation, it reduces the carbon footprint because it absorbs heat,” he says.
It recycles easily.
Johnson says that aluminum foil does not have to be recycled to be recyclable.
“All you have to do is use a sprayer and a spray gun, and the aluminum will take up no space,” he explains.
It provides insulation.
Johnson adds that aluminum used for insulation can be added back into the process of making GAAFP.
“That allows the aluminum to absorb heat, which reduces the CO2 emissions and can make it a lot more environmentally friendly than aluminum foil that’s reused,” he adds.
It does not need to be insulated.
Johnson explains that GAAFS can be applied directly to the inside of a building, rather than being heated in the oven.
“You just spray it in there,” he notes.
It allows for quick insulation.
“Aluminum foil is not as good as aluminum foil because it needs to be cut up and wrapped with a little aluminum foil tape, which is a little time-consuming,” Johnson says, “but aluminum foil is more absorbent than aluminum that’s cut up.”
It is recyclible.
Johnson points out that the material does not waste any space.
“GAF is recycler-friendly,” he tells Popular Mechanics.
“So if you need a lot, like a large box, you don’t have to go to a recycling plant.”
It reduces the amount you have on your hands.
Johnson notes that aluminum oxide, an all-purpose, nonrecyclable fiber, can be stored in the aluminum-containing products that are made from GAAFM.
“This is not the same as putting aluminum foil on the stovetop or putting aluminum on a dry towel,” he said.
“But if you put it in the refrigerator, that will reduce the water loss.
And aluminum foil doesn’t affect the water that’s in the air as much as aluminum does.”
It contains high amounts of recyclables.
Johnson states that aluminum can be found in many other products.
“There are other products where aluminum foil has been recycled into aluminum foil insulation, such to detergers, to detergents,” he continues.
“And there are other materials where aluminum has been used to make glass, to make ceramics.”