Hi Amy! Let us know what good links you find in your online search for energy-efficient & low toxicity insulation & paint.
I'll list some ideas I know of, though I don't recall there being a summary list anywhere on our TW site.
You could also check in with my friend Shannon M owns Light Source Residential Design, and who sponsors the local monthly Solar meetings, and puts out the Garden E-News.
She has helped many folks with planning & designing at reasonable rates, and I have great trust in her judgement & skills.
Our family has experience working with Sustainable Connections, having recent visits from their 'Community Energy Challenge' employees.
I can share my impressions with their service and their $100 fee for their 'Energy Analysis Report'
– but best if its done over the phone.
Their website: http://sustainableconnections.org/energy/energychallenge
They do some referrals to businesses that fill out their application, though there are also other great local businesses that are not part of their network.
I've found the local business Mold Busters to be helpful. Talk to Kevin. http://www.deadmold.com/
Rebecca M listed some links on her homeowners TW group at:
We did find some low odor paint a few years back, although I don't believe any type of oil or latax-based house paint could be considered 'toxic-free'. Some of the newer blown-in insulation materials are advertised as 'green', although I don't know if they have long-term studies to back this, or how they effect allergy & chemically sensitive people. The Re-Store & ReSources recently renovated their store, so you could check with them.
Hope you'll take the time to share with us all what you learn...either on this discussion or consider sharing on your own Transition Whatcom blog. Hope this helps!
Thank you J.C. When you say your tank has a blanket...are you serious? I'd like to hear more about how you attached it, the type of blanket it is. Has the timer also helped you save much energy?
Can't wait to hear your answers :)