The globe is reeling under the pressure of climate change. With an alarming rise in global temperatures, shifting weather patterns and rapidly decreasing forest covers, the planet is in dire straits. The need to take immediate steps to allay the effects of climate change is more pronounced now than ever.
The responsibility of doing the needful for improving the environment lies with each one of us, and setting up a green roof on your property is one of the elegant ways of achieving environmental stability.
The benefits of plant life installation and maintenance on the roofs of buildings are manifold. Apart from improving aesthetics, a green roof benefits the environment in myriad ways. Some of these are discussed below.
A green rooftop can work wonders for water conservation and recycling. Rainwater is usually channeled away from rooftops. This leads to wastage of water and prevents its re-entry into the water cycle; even more worrying is the fact that some of this contaminated runoff may reach into water bodies and render them unfit for use. With a green rooftop, the plants use up this water and reintroduce it into the water cycle, thereby maintaining the delicate balance of nature.
Setting up a green roof provides a natural habitat for multiple species of birds and insects in an urban setting. This leads to a more balanced environmental system that allows the surroundings to develop sustainably. Further, these creatures play an important role in the ecological cycle which is ultimately beneficial for humans as well.
Rapid industrialization and indiscriminate use of fossil fuels have left the urban atmosphere dangerously contaminated. Every breath we take continues to have far reaching effects on our health and safety. Green roofs check air pollution, and also help to add much needed oxygen into the air, which improves air quality.
By installing plant life on urban rooftops, harmful gases can be naturally filtered from the air. Plants can also contribute towards impeding the spread of suspended particulate matter, the cause of numerous breathing disorders.
Urban areas often suffer from the Urban Heat Island effect; this results in increased temperatures for urban settings. By introducing a touch of greenery in cities and towns, green rooftops can contribute towards bringing down the ambient temperature; this benefits the environment as well as reduces health problems associated with excessive heat waves.
As green roofs help to bring down the temperatures of urban settings, this automatically translates to greater energy efficiency. By naturally keeping buildings cool, the rooftop plant cover can reduce the need to use air-conditioning. This reduction in energy consumption translates into sustainable utilization of natural resources required to produce electricity.
Popularized by E.O.Wilson, the hypothesis that humans have an innate connection with nature and living things, known as biophilia stems from theories of evolutionary psychology. As such, we therefore can enjoy and relate to plants growing on a roof from a deeper level than just visual appeal. Studies have suggested that the presence of green roofs helps to improve the psychological health of citizens by providing relief from the stress that is usually associated with city life.
These are only some of the ways in which green rooftops can benefit the environment. With more and more buildings choosing to establish green roofs, the day is not far when the urban skylines will show the way to a greener future.