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Up On the Roof

Green is the new black. And I am not talking about this fall’s Gucci collection. Green is the new ‘it color’ of roofs, which are beginning to sprout all over the country. An article from the Baltimore Sun from July 31, 2009, describes how companies, public institutions, and even home owners are turning their bland black rooftops into serene refuges with the help of some foliage. The city of Baltimore has already turned 150,000 square feet of root top into green top, including places such as the city hospital and a gas station.

Although a roof seems like the last place you would turn to plant a garden, the logic is pretty rational. It’s an already existing part of your home, so why not spruce it up? Doing so, you will be seeing green. Literally. Green roofs can help cut utility costs as well as grocery bills. Because plants on the roof take up the sunshine, less is heat is absorbed by the construction, keeping the house cool. Various food-producing plants can also be planted, reducing the need to frequent the grocery store. Many cities also offer tax incentives to individuals who implement these roofs, meaning more moolah in your wallet.

But that’s not all. These roofs offer benefits that elicit a ‘Hallelujah’ from Mother Nature. They reduce storm water because the majority of rainfall ends up in the plants and not the streets. Also the plants and trees produce take up carbon dioxide, improving air quality.

Overall, green roofs are eco-friendly, wallet-friendly, and just plain nicer to look at than standard black or brown shingles. So when it comes to roofs, it’s time wake up and smell the green.


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