Monday, October 4th, 2010

When Autumn is in the Air, Plastics Keeps You Warm and Flu-Free

During a recent blog I wrote about how plastics helped keep us cool in the warm summer months.  Now with the temperature dropping, the days getting shorter, and the football season getting underway,  autumn is definitely in the air. And thanks to plastics, you can stay warm and healthy whether your are inside or out.

On the housing front, plastics help maximize energy efficiency and performance.  Plastic foam insulation, such as spray polyurethane foam, expands to insulate mid- to larger-size areas of your home, such as walls, attics and roofs. This insulation improves your home’s energy efficiency, and helps keep rooms at the desired temperature.  Polycarbonate can be used in windows since its low thermal conductivity can help to reduce heating and cooling costs.

And don’t forget plastic house wrap technology.  Plastic house wrap technology reduces the infiltration of outside air and helps to drastically reduce the energy required to heat the home.  Also if you are indoors you can always throw a log in the fireplace (or for the easy route you can put a Duraflame log in – just remember to remove its polyethylene packaging first). 

When you are outdoors in the fall, plastics play a key role in keeping you warm.  Personally, I’m partial to the fleece jackets made from post consumer recycled soda bottles.  Over the course of 13 years the company who developed this technology saved some 86 million soda bottles from the trash heap.  That’s enough oil to fill the 40-gallon gas tank of a Chevy Suburban 20,000 times.  And when the fall rains arrive in the D.C. area, I want to make sure my feet stay dry.  Thankfully I have many options including waterproof boots (that utilize waterproof expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membranes).  Another option is to put on your “Wellies” which are also waterproof and are most often made from rubber or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

In order to stay healthy this fall, don’t forget to get your flu shot.  Some flu vaccines are being made in bio-process containers that are made of plastics. The plastic is converted from medical grade resins and polymer films, and created in multi-layer sizes that range from a deck of cards to a pick-up truck.  Their use is to grow cell cultures in controlled environments which then yield the proteins that are the basis for new drug therapies as well as the more common flu vaccines.  Also, the flu shot will likely be administered using plastic syringes made from polypropylene, vinyl or acrylic.  And if you happen to be around someone who is under the weather because they didn’t get his or her flu shot, don’t forget your hand sanitizer stored in a recyclable PET bottle.

 So whether you are inside or out, plastics can make these chilly days and nights of autumn a bit more tolerable and healthy too.

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