The Sustainable Business Council Blog

November Featured Member – Fill THE Gap
October 26, 2010, 8:29 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

Based in Missoula, Montana, Fill THE Gap is a company focusing on health and safety. Heat and air conditioned air loss evaluations are the next most important tests performed.

A multifaceted approach to heat loss and human health and safety is taken.  This includes air leakage, forced furnace duct leakage, and worst case combustion air zone testing and infrared thermography. Fill THE Gap provides consulting, pre-construction and professional witness services.

The money lost in residential and commercial buildings is costing Western Montanans potentially millions of dollars each year. Evaluations and recommendations from Fill THE Gap help to offset these costs considerably.

The major issues found with customers are air leaks and poor insulation. The list of odd situations continues to grow as each building has its anomalies.

Poor construction, EVEN in new buildings, leads to considerable heat loss through air leaks!  A classic example of this is a home with tongue and grove on the vaulted ceiling proved to have no air barrier. The heat loss was outstanding and would not have been found without thermography as the base of the ceiling started at 15 feet and ran up to 26 feet high. No test other than that which we provided would have found this out.

Another example was that of a client that was found to have hollow core doors for all the entrances to their house.  There were six such doors. This was found out through thermography.

Back drafting of furnaces and other gas-fired appliances can be deadly.  Finding out about this is critical for you.  We provide this type of evaluation by setting up a worst-case scenario of venting and depressurization of your building. Evaluating this is of great importance since the results can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or fires.

Most homes have insulation.  However, the wrong insulation or improper installation of insulation can be disastrous.  An evaluation by Fill THE Gap provides an assessment of these and other problems. Excellent reporting provides a superb reference at better understanding the fixes. In fact, using this type of information to support the purchase or sale of a piece of property is invaluable as most people forget about the things they can’t see!

In our bag of tools is a thermographic infrared camera. Thermography is used to evaluate the heat signatures, or differences in heat displayed in the camera. The camera used by Fill THE Gap is extremely sensitive and can detect differences in temperature as little as one degree. It is up to the certified thermographer to fully understand the findings in each of the images.  Thermography is used for residential, commercial and industrial purposes of identifying missing insulation, air leaks, and roofs leaking water, prescriptive maintenance of motors and other mechanical equipment.

Fill THE Gap began in 2009 and has been serving customers in the Western Montana Region since its beginnings. Fill THE Gap personnel are confirmed verifiers for Energy Star Homes Northwest and Level l Thermographer.



November Featured Member – Walking Stick Toys
October 26, 2010, 7:22 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

Business is going well. I love my Hip Strip location and my store is celebrating her 5th birthday on November 1st. It has been a very fun 5 years bringing eco-friendly, sustainable toys to Missoulians. We started out small and our inventory has grown into a giant rainbow, very colorful and fun. We have play space in the back for kiddos while their ‘big person’ shops. My mission upon opening was to provide wood, wool, cotton and silk toys and I’ve been able to incorporate a lot of really unique toys, many of which are locally made. We are always on the lookout for new things.

We just recently added some new manufacturers, The Original Tree Swing is one of them, they provide wooden toys from reclaimed trees. We do have a web presence but we don’t have quite as many products on the web site as we do in our physical location. We’ve stuck to our mission of providing only natural safe toys so with all of the ongoing recalls you can feel confident choosing products for the children in your life at Walking Stick Toys.

Some people think that WST is a baby/toddler store, I think that is because of the diaper store front (my good friends that own Nature Boy and I share our location), but upon entering the back of the store you’ll find toys for kids up to 99. It is tricky to find quality green toys for older kids, but I’ve really expanded my game selection, art supplies, and outdoor toys and they are good for any age. Our fun marble tracks and some of our cooperative games are even fun for me, so we can assist you in finding toys to suit preteens. The store is growing and my kids are growing up with it, which was another very important thing to me, I wanted to keep them with me during their first several years of life and my store has created that flexibility for me. It is pretty rare that you’ll see me at my store without Simon and Gus (or at least one or the other of them).

We love our store, it is our home away from home and we love to share it with our amazing community!

I have a really fun upcoming event, it is our Annual Holiday Open House on Saturday the 27th of November. Big Sales, Snacks donated by Farm to Family (one of our new collaborations!) and Santa from 1-3. The sale goes all day but photos and chatting with Santa are from 1-3.

Keegan’s Story
October 26, 2010, 7:12 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

Thank you Team!!!

I’m back from the 320 mile Climate Ride California!!!  It has taken a couple days for the soreness to leave my legs, allowing me to walk normally!  A few things come to mind……I should have spent a lot more time in the bike saddle training for the ride…..WOW!  I also was reminded by how amazing our planet is, and how truly fortunate we are to be able to spend our lives here, and to fight for its continued stability (within the ranges that humans need, anyway).   I was initially intrigued by the idea of a week-long bike tour to raise funds and awareness about climate change, I thought the physical challenge would be interesting and that I would meet interesting new people.  Having ridden the week out…… the scenery reminded me of my love for the natural world and my awe at its many forms, especially REDWOOD trees….which are amazing!  I was not sufficiently prepared for the physical challenge, as training time with two small kids and a business to run was scarce.  I will remember the week, however, because of the great and diverse qualities of the other riders.  They were quite a range, from 12 – 74 years old, incorporating almost every type of work in our society and all driven by various visions of the future we collectively want to pass on to future generations.  The small actions that everyone is taking on the individual scale are building a movement – a schizophrenic movement (that I sometimes liken to a circular firing squad) – but building it nonetheless!  Large change will require that a coordinated effort amongst voters and citizens FORCE policymakers to recognize that preparing a low carbon development path, a renewable energy based economy and adjusting our consumption patterns to mitigate climate change is in our self-interest, and our national interest!  From the young turks twittering along the ride to the documentary film makers, to the grassroots door-to-door signature gatherers to corporate CFOs all of these people have a different approach to how they bring this concept into their daily life – and it was their enthusiasm, in the face of so much pessimism, that will forever remind me of the week I spent pedaling, sweating, smiling, and sometimes swearing, down the coast!

I’ve uploaded some photos from the ride to a website.  I took a lot of photos, but tried to keep the slideshow short enough to be seen without getting bored….. I know how it works.
You can see the photos at (click the slideshow in the upper right corner of the webpage and it’ll take off for you!).

With you help I was able to raise $3,120!!!!  That is almost $10/mile!  Perhaps it should be weighted more for the uphill miles and less for the downhill …….. J  I am honored that all of you thought my effort worthy of so much, and also that you are taking strides on your own to bring about some meaningful change in our approach to climate change.  The three beneficiaries of the funds will make more bike trails, lobby US politicians to enact climate change legislation, and promote the power of the group to leverage large producers to factor climate change and emissions into their manufacturing processes.

Quite an interesting chapter in the book of my life!  I thank you all for being part of it!  It was quite a ride!  I will forward a link to some videos that other riders were making as they come available.
Your humble rider!!!

Keegan Eisenstadt
ClearSky Climate Solutions
office: +406.721.3000 ext.1241
fax: +406.721.5912
cell: +406.207.3947