There are so many ways to lower your carbon footprint. Recycling, reusing, and reducing are all excellent green tactics. However, when it comes to home improvement, creating an Eco-friendly roof can be an unexpected win.
There are a variety of large and small studies corroborating the effective and significant benefits of switching to an Eco-friendly roof. Consider a simple, minor green roof change or a major Eco-friendly roof renovation to add to your green mission.
Solar – Solar energy (photovoltaic technology) has come a long way. Installation prices have dropped considerably with a full unit costing between, approximately, $10,000-$20,000 (after tax credits). This may seem pricey for some but energy savings alone (depending on where you live) could be significant. Energy Sage reports with current models estimating that over a twenty-year period you could save upwards of $50,000. In addition, Solar Estimate cites an approximation of a $14,000 increase in residential home resale value when a solar power system is already installed.
Wind – Residential wind turbines are being utilized in eligible areas. This energy, which is a by-product of solar energy (wind, in part, is caused by the sun’s heat), could be a viable option. Installation can range similarly to solar panels yet wind may offer even more savings if you live in a dominantly windy location like the seashore. Also, bladeless wind turbines are an option that is rapidly mitigating the aesthetic, wildlife threat, and noise setbacks conventional blade wind power could pose.
As installation costs continue to decrease and state/federal tax credits increase, using your roof to collect solar or wind energy is a large step with big financial and environmental results.
Live Green – Greening your roof is another option. If it is possible, this entails covering your roof in the grass, plants, trees, etc. which some call a ‘living roof’. This is perfect for apartment buildings or homes with flat roofs that can easily be walked on.
According to North Carolina State University, the benefits of a green roof include:
- Reduce and slow stormwater runoff
- Natural protection against extreme heat enables green roofs to last twice as long
- A green roof’s plants remove air particulates, produce oxygen, and provide shade
- Reduces the Urban Heat Island Effect in which urban environments absorb and trap heat
- Reduces energy costs by absorbing heat instead of attracting it providing natural insulation
Recycled Roof Shingles – Made from recycled plastic, rubber, or wood fibers, post-consumer waste (waste from homes), or post-industrial waste (factory waste) recycled roof shingles are an excellent option.
Mother Earth News reports that
“Recycled-content roof shingles help divert waste from landfills and reduce our need to extract and process raw materials, which lowers energy consumption and reduces pollution. Some of these products are recyclable, too, and many come with amazing 50-year warranties. A few even carry fire ratings that could lower your insurance rates.”
Paint it White – One simple way to divert heating sun rays that can increase indoor air-conditioning costs is to paint your roof white. Communities in places like the Middle East have been doing this for centuries. Some climate scientists have proposed making white roofs mandatory in an effort to slow global warming.
These ideas to change your roof to an Eco-friendly roof bring more options to the many ways you can help save the planet. From a simple swath of paint to an entire solar array all it takes is a little effort. Creating an Eco-Eco-friendly roof could reduce your financial output while lowering your carbon footprint at the same time.