Looking to lower your cooling costs and help save the planet? The answer may lie in a few buckets of white paint.
According to a Lawrence Berkeley Labs study, painting roofs white may not only help cool the planet but may also reverse “global warming”. It works for t-shirts, after all. And there’s no doubt a reason why Mediterranean homes are primarily painted in light colors. Painting your roof white could work the same way, too.
Hashem Akbari, a physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley lab, just released a study showing that the average American 1,000-square-foot white roof could offset 10 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
According to his data, roofs constitute 20 to 25 percent of urban surfaces, while pavement is about 40 percent. Therefore, if all of those surfaces were switched to a reflective material (or color) in the 100 largest urban areas in America, his calculations show, this would offset 44 metric gigatons of carbon dioxide. That’s more than all countries emit in a single year. Further, that’s worth about $1.1 trillion at current carbon trading rates.
Of course, first we’d need a study to find out whether painted roofs leak toxic emissions into the air when subjected to high summer temperatures, particularly once the paint begins to decay.