14. How to make people love roof gardens...
How can we make people LOVE roof gardens?
There are plenty of reason why to consider building a roof garden at home or work. But the most important thing is to actually make people consider it. So here we give you a list of reason people might like the idea. Every person might have their own ideas or reason, but the goal is to make them consider it and actually starting it. Because, once you get someone to act green others will for sure follow.
Good will is contagious!
The "Why to love roof gardens" list:
1.It can bring families closerSince it needs teamwork to create a roofgarden, the whole family could involve.
2.Save money on groceriesYou can start your own vegetable garden,planting tomatoes, peppers and spices. That way you don't need to buy them at the grocery store.
3.It makes your roof a pretty sight at your communitySince it transforms an empty place into a green one you don't have to look now at just concrete.
4.You are decreasing your ecological footprintWe are returning to mother nature a green space that once belonged to her.
5.It attracts birds, butterflies and other wild lifewe created a new ecosystem in our own buildings for animals to enjoy.
6.Can make you have the "coolest" house on the block! :-)You don't just decrease your house inner temperature, but you can have your own little "zoo" and "national park" ;-D And believe us.. that's way cool!
The Real Facts: Our Projects Benefit$$$
1.It lowers temperatures inside the building.Vegetation helps insulate the area avoiding sunlight to directly heat the rooftop which at the same time diminishes transfer of heat into the building.
2.It avoids water to leak trough cracks already on the celling.The plants absorb most of the water from the rain and eventually they help to avoid leaks trough the cracks from the classroom ceiling.The vegetation is cost-effective approach to prevent those leaks.
3.Re-establishes green areas occupied by the building.When there's a structure where once was a place filled with trees and plants it takes away some of the vegetation an so, making a rooftop garden it helps to provide the space that was taken from nature.
4.It helps save energy.It does save energy!Because the plants on our rooftop garden refreshes the classroom and there's no need to use electric fans or air conditioning.
5.Produces an aesthetically pleasing change to a once empty space.The plants makes something beautiful and a aesthetically aspect in a empty space it also allows a place of recreation. It would make a good environment for insects and other sort of animals to have a place to call home.
6.The garden absorbs water runoff avoiding contamination rivers, watersheds and eventual the oceans.Thanks to the garden it absorbs water runoffs avoiding contamination. Because the plants absorb the water from the rain preventing it to go to the street that might be filled with contaminants like gasoline,oil leaks,soap,and other chemicals that could go trough the drains and could contaminate rivers and eventually the ocean.
7.A greater change in temperatures inside the experimental classroom can be expected for following months.This temperatures were taken on the cooler months of the year, achieving a difference of 2.49F inside experimental classroom. so we can expect that for the hotter summer days a more significant difference could be obtain.
8.It's an inexpensive and cost effective approach, making easier to promote the idea to people (the 76 cents Ecosolution)Making this rooftop garden was so cost-effective and easily anyone could make it.There's was no need to pay lots of money or hire people to construct it or maintain it.We can do it by ourselves for just 76 cents (USD) per square feet!
Call it our "The 76 cents Eco Solution"!
A very important part of our project was to make it attractive to people. We achieved that on this few basis:
- First we provided scientific data that proves roof gardens actually work on decreasing temperatures inside and outside buildings.
- Second we showed the health benefits of lowering our classroom temperatures
- Third we showed people how easily can be done
- Fourth we transformed an empty unpleasant sight into an aesthetically pleasing place to look at: a Garden
Now we needed to show one of the most important aspect of the project. How cost effective actually is. So here are the actual facts about it:
|Material Used||Cost (USD) approx.||Details|
We used 48 wooden pallets we got for free at our local groceries stores. This are eager to give them away since they take a lot of place to storage.
|Landscape Fabric liner||$86||We bough two rolls,each one size 4 ft x 220 = 880 square ft. ( 1.22m x 67.05m = 81.8 square meters). Since each wooden pallet measured about 13.2 square feet (1.23 square meters) we ended covering an area of 633.6 square feet (58.86 square meters) approximately giving us fabric to spare.|
|Stapler||$10||We needed to fix that liner securelly so we bough an industrial stappler.|
|Staples||$27||It took a lot of those to secure the fabric tightly to the 48 wooden pallets.|
|Soil||$125||We bough 4 meters of top soil to plant.|
|Grass and plants||$230||We got a combination of plants and grass, mostly grass mats which worked better.|
TOTAL COST: $478 (USD)
But then why we call it the 76 cents Eco Solution?
Well, since we covered an area of 663.6 square feet (58.86 square meters) if we divide the total area by the cost of all the material we end up with a cost of just:
76 cents per square feet!
The Money Talk: How much $$ can we save?
Well, how much money can we save if we make a rooftop garden? In our case since Puerto Rico is on the tropics we don't use calecfaction to maintain our houses warm, but air conditioning and fans to keep our home cool.
According to the web page gassouth.com lowering the heat by one degree during any 24 hour period inside your home can decrease your electricity bill by up to 3% .
Let’s have an example directly to my home.
- Las month my dad paid $235.00 for the electricity bill.
- If we decrease our house temperature just one degree it could save up $7.05 (USD) dollars monthly which is 3% of the whole bill.
- With this we would end up saving $84.60 (USD) dollars a year.
BUT WITH OUR PROJECT GETS EVEN BETTER!
- We accomplished to reduce the temperature to an average of 2.49°F degrees,
- So we would end up saving MORE which would be $17.55(USD) monthly. We got that saving by multiplying ($7.05 x 2.49).
- This would annually be a $210.60 (USD) dollars saving.
THATS A BIG SAVING!!
We have to consider that these savings could vary in other countries and maybe it would save even a bigger amount of money.
As you can see building a rooftop garden is a great way of protecting our enviorment and also saving money!