Green roofs are certainly eco-friendly. These roofs consist of a soil substrate plus plants that are planted within it. The plants take in carbon monoxide, which is a greenhouse gas. They release oxygen, which humans need to thrive. But here's the thing: green roofs do require a lot of maintenance in the form of watering the plants, cleaning up a spilled substrate, and so forth. As such, you may want to consider other eco-friendly roofing materials as an alternative. Here are a few options to look into.
Wood shakes are sometimes seen as old-fashioned because they were a standard option before asphalt shingles were invented. But while they are not as common as they once were, they are still a good choice if you want your roof to be eco-friendly. Wood is as natural as roof materials come. It is also a good insulator, keeping your energy bills low. As long as you use cedar shakes, which are the most common, you won't have to treat the roof with any insecticides, herbicides, or even sealers, so pollution concerns are low.
Not all metal roofs can be considered eco-friendly. However, there are companies that make their metal roofing from a majority of recycled materials, which is definitely an eco-friendly choice. Using recycled metal means less new metal needs to be mined. Metal roofing is also a very energy-efficient roofing option in hot climates. The metal reflects the sunlight and does not get as warm, which keeps your AC costs low. This works even better if you choose a metal roof in a lighter color, like gray or white. (Light colors absorb even less heat from the sun.)
Solar shingles cost significantly more than most other roofing materials. But if you do have room for them in your budget, they are absolutely an eco-friendly choice. These shingles capture sunlight and convert it to electrical energy to power your home. If the public electricity in your area is made by burning fossil fuels, then switching to solar energy is a planet-friendly choice. Plus, solar shingles last a long time and can be made with a high proportion of recycled metal and glass.
Green roofs are not the only planet-friendly option. If you do not like the idea of having actual, living plants on your roof, then there are alternatives to explore. Consider recycled metal, solar shingles, and wood shakes as simpler alternatives. For more information on residential roof installation, contact a professional near you.