May 17, 2012

What color is your roof?

Update: France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels. All new buildings in commercial zones across the country must comply with new environmental legislation (theguardian.com)

Mirror back Climate Change.

Every time I fly somewhere (which ain’t great for our environment, I look down and see the square footage that is devoted (particularly with warehouses, malls, groceries, other shopping centers) to roofs. And I imagine them planted green, or painted white.

It’d make a huge difference, it’s relatively easy, and can even save the tenant or landlord money.


Everyone Living in a city should do this.

Questions about why this is a good idea, given that hot black roofs come wintertime might seem like a good idea? Answered. Answered on Wikipedia.

Via Bill Clinton’s Back to Work:

The black tar roofs covering hundreds of thousands of American buildings, especially in older cities, absorb a huge amount of heat, requiring much more energy to cool the rooms below. Just painting the roof white can cut a building’s energy use by up to 30 percent on a hot day. Every flat tar roof in every city and town should be painted white.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg started a program in New York, the Green City Force, to train young people to do this work. A majority of them have been able to parlay their experience into high-skilled training programs or better-paying energy jobs. And lowering the electric bills 20 to 30 percent in every apartment or office frees up cash that utility customers can spend on other things.

We can get even greater energy savings and lower bills by planting greenery or growing gardens on rooftops. It costs more than painting because the roof has to be sealed to prevent leaking and strong enough to bear the extra weight, but the savings are greater.

Unless you’re creating a green roof, or tiling it in solar panels, this is a cheap, easy way to go:

A mini documentary about The White Roof Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to curbing climate change through a simple solution. To find out how you can help visit.
Video by-
Matt Dunne
Justin Baez
Eric Abram
Adam Matos
Andrew Sclafani


Relephant bonus: Roads are made of oil, too!

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