I’ve been a “green thinker” for as long as I can remember. Most of my lights are compact fluorescent (or their non-compact siblings), my home has extra insulation, my appliances are primarily Energy Star, I turn of lights when not in use, I set the thermostat appropriately, and we use ceiling fans to help make things “feel cooler.” I’m trying to obtain the funding needed to install a grid-tied, hybrid solar-wind generating setup to help off-set my reliance on the power grid, and to purchase a Toyta Prius to help off-set my use of fossil fuels.
No, I’m not “all the way there” yet (and probably never will be), but I’m working on it.
Not long ago my wife and I saw a telivision show where they installed a “green roof.” Basically, they made a 4 inch deep “growing box” on the roof, lined it with pool liner, placed a couple sheets of carpet padding down (to help hold in the water), placed some soil and netting down (to hold the soil in place), then planted it with ground-cover (sedums and the like).
The thought is multi-threaded:
- By adding soil and plant material to the roof, you capture rain water and put it to good use, not wasting it by running it down the gutter and into the storm sewer
- By adding plant material you keep the soil from drying up and turning your roof into a desert
- By adding plants, you’re helping put more oxygen into the air (and take carbon dioxide and other chemicals out of the air
- You’re adding several inches of insulation to your roof (where you need it most); this helps keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter
- You’re introducing plant matter into the environment, which attracts beneficial insects and animals that would not normally have been there (due to the descruction of their habitat to build your habitat)
Here’s another view from KCPW’s Julie Rose: .mp3