Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Green walls that have always been in Chicago.

I remember growing up in the Chicago suburbs and everyone had ivy growing on their homes.  It looked beautiful in the summer and kept the house cool.  The ivy changed color in the fall and added a new dimension to a brick home. The only draw back is that the leaves died in the winter months and all that was left to see were the vines.  

I mention this because it reminds me of the living walls the girls spoke of seeing in Spain.

I know there are different varieties of ivy that keep their green leaves all winter because I had it growing on my trees and as a ground cover when I lived in the western suburbs of Chicago.  I will find out tomorrow what the name is of that ivy because I think it is an inexpensive way to start a year round green wall in in Chicago!

Following is also an article on 4 easy ways anyone can do a little greening of their own roof at home on a small scale at low cost. 

4 Ways To Green Your Roof

Utilizing your roof may be a great way to save or harness energy.

Josh Peterson

By Josh Peterson
Los Angeles, CA, USA | Mon Dec 08 10:00:00 EST 2008

green roof photo

Karen Moskowitz/Getty Images

Is your roof going to waste? Is it just sitting there, covered in TV antennas, leaves and old footballs? It doesn't have to be. You can alter your roof to aid the environment. Why settle for a roof that just covers your living space? Make your roof a dynamic part of your home. Here's four ways how.

  1. Skylights
    Skylights are a great way to reduce your electric bills. Installing skylights or solar tubesin your roof, can help you save money. It will decrease your need for electric lighting during the day. It will also bring in natural light which is good for your mental health.

  2. Paint Your Roof White
    By painting your roof white, you can deflect light and heat away from your roof. Not only will it help you cool your house, it will also help control climate change. According to the physicist, Hashem Akbari, a 1,000 sq-ft roof, painted white, can offset 10 metric tons of CO2.

  3. Plant a Rooftop Garden
    Putting a garden on your rooftop is a great way reduce urban heat islands. Did you know that it can also reduce the temperature of the garden-topped building by up to 15 degrees? Growing plants and trees in the city can also contribute to the overall air quality by eliminating carbon dioxide. That's great news for all us oxygen-breathers.

  4. IMount Some Solar Panels
    Why not turn your roof into a power plant? By mounting a few solar panels on your roof and hooking them into your grid. You can generate some clean energy for your home. It's expensive in at first, but it can save you money in the long run.

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