A green roof in Altamonte Springs is known by several names such as ecoroof or living roof. They have been built on buildings for centuries. Many countries in the world have green roof subsidies or programs that encourage ecoroofs. Scandinavia has long had farm house buildings that have sod covered roofs. Some cities in the US are known for their living roofs such as Chicago’s City Hall building.
Basically a green roof is a roof that has vegetation and a growing medium. It will cost more than a standard asphalt shingle roofing application. Rooftop garden costs also depend on the type of green roof installed. There are several differences among green roofs in Altamonte Springs and some applications that may or may not be defined as a green roof such as a container garden green roof.
What Is Green Roofing?
Here are several ideas for Green Service Projects:
1. Energy Audit. Use of electricity and gas is a large driver of greenhouse gas and cost. There are many good energy audit forms available on the internet. Download some, modify for your needs and audit the school and other large businesses. Make specific recommendations to reduce usage with sensors, timers, ballst, light bulbs, insulation and other methods. Consider volunteering to do audits for older folks in your community and try to get funds from the community or sponsors to help them reduce their energy usage.
2. Compost. Large portions of landfill garbage can be composted. Start one at home and then work with institutional and restaurant kitchens to develop compost processes and recipients. Consider selling compost to gardeners. Measure the amount of compost generated in a week and extrapolate to show the annual impact per house or per school/institution.
3. Plastic Bottle Recycling. Many millions of soda bottles are landfilled each year. Many schools still sell drinks in plastic bottles. Consider building or obtaining plastics-only recycling containers and contacting your community recycling center to arrange for pickup. Don't forget the concession stands and other outdoor areas. Measure and communicate the amount of bottles saved and show some items made from the bottles.
4. Compact Flourescent Drive. Work with a local hardware or department store to offer special sales on compact fluorescent bulbs and sell them as a fund-raiser. The recipients get a deal on the bulbs and support a good cause, and they will save energy for them. Make some conservative calculations of the dollar and electricity savings from each kit sold, and show it as a graph or thermometer.
5. Metals recycling in the kitchen. Many cafeterias use large cans for food. Put a bin to collect rinsed cans and either recycle them or use them for planting in other projects. The metal has good recycle value.
17. Plastic-Free Dining. Take a survey of the garbage created in your school cafeteria. Try to find ways to reduce the environmental impact (carbon cost, weight, decomposability, etc.) See if you can transform plastic items to paper or metal that can be either reused or renewed without fossil fuels. Work with the procurement group to obtain the new items at lower cost, and determine if the total "life cycle cost" of dishes and silverware is lower than plastic.
18. Mileage Audits. Develop an audit tool to help people maximize their auto mileage. From tire pressure to weight reduction and driving habit changes, you can make a good guide for people to use. Set up an event, perhaps in concert with a car show or car wash, to perform mileage audits for people, pump their tires and give them a guide to keep in their car. Do a before/after road test on a few cars to gather some hard data.
19. Solar Rooftop. Obtain funding and/or supplies to install a pilot solar cell on a rooftop. Connect it to a unique object inside the school such as a moving sculpture, fountain or light display, or light a hallway. Calculate the cost of operation vs the energy cost saved and make a recommendation to the school for larger scale implementation.
20. Green Careers Research. Do some jobs research on the top 20-30 careers that impact Green. Develop a list of degrees and skills which would be needed for these jobs, along with projections of the growth and the economic and geographic locations of the jobs. Work with the guidance conselor to publish this and make available to students as they make decisions about careers. Consider building a slide show or video composite of interesting jobs in Renewable Energy and other areas.
Hopefully this has given you some ideas on good service projects that will have a positive impact on our environment. Have fun and stay green!
Maintaining Flat Roofs and Your Sanity
The roof is one of the most important features of your home so it's very important that you choose the right roofing material so that your roof will last you many years. Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material. Asphalt shingles are very harmful to the environment because they absorb heat, hold on to that heat for a long time, and are rarely recycled (because it is difficult). Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material because they are cheaper.
If your roof is getting old and needs to be replaced why not replace it with an environmentally friendly roof. There are numerous choices available in green roofing. Here are a few:
The Living Roof This is one of the most popular choices when it comes to green roofing. These roofs contain a layer of soil and plants grow on top of them. A living roof provides much better insulation than an asphalt shingle roof. A living roof helps it blend into its surroundings, and they're beautiful. The topsoil that was removed during construction can be used as part of the living roof. Green roofs contain plants which help to replace the plants that were destroyed when the home was constructed. Most living roofs are found in Germany. Green roof systems can either be intensive or extensive depending on the plant material and planned usage for the roof area. Intensive green roofs use a wide variety of plants that may include trees and shrubs. They are extremely heavy and require a lot of support. Extensive roofs usually contain herbs, grasses, and mosses. They are not as heavy as intensive roofs. Green roofs can lower your electric bill. They also keep rain water from running off into the ground. The plants on the living roof can help remove pollutants from the air.
If you choose to install solar roof tiles, you still will need to stay on the electric grid since even the sunniest climates have cloudy days, which limits how much power the tiles can generate. You should still be able to save a substantial amount on your electric bill.
This is an excellent time to purchase solar powered tiles. There are many excellent state and federal tax incentives (up to 80% of the cost). You can increase the value of your home and save on your electric bills by installing solar tiles.
The solar roof tile is made up of photovoltaic modules that are capable of being integrated into any standard roofing system. Solar roof tiles are connected by electrical sockets on their underside. This creates a single electrical unit, and therefore, an electric current. Basically, solar roof tiles use the sun's rays to absorb heat and generate electricity for your home or building.