Published: June 4, 2014


White Roof Project is going green by painting white.

Here is their mission –

Our method of simple, tangible change facilitates community involvement to help solve big environmental problems, one rooftop, one block, one city at a time.

Millions of rooftops in America are made of tar. They absorb an enormous amount of heat during the summer months. By covering black tar roofs with solar-reflective white coating we immediately reduce temperatures inside and out. This low cost solution is a quick and easy way to cut carbon emissions, reduce our risk of ‘brown outs’ caused by stress on the power grid, save millions in energy costs, and even save lives.

The statistics are as simple as they are staggering: A roof covered with solar-reflective white paint reflects up to 90% of sunlight as opposed to the 20% reflected by a traditional black roof. On a 90°F day, a black roof can be up to 180°F while a white roof stays a cool 100°F reducing cooling costs up to 40 percent.

WRP has a three-pronged approach to executing its mission; 1) Educate and activate, 2) Contribute to white roof science and policy, 3) Catalyze volunteers to complete painting projects in cities.

To educate we; 1) Share information on the benefits of white roofing, 2) Cultivate a global network of WRP supporters (chapters) in cities outside of our home base in New York City and 3) Catalyze independent Do-It-Yourself (DIY) roof projects globally.

To contribute to policy  we; 1) Collect new data for white roofing studies and 2) Work with elected officials to strengthen building codes and roofing requirements.

To engage volunteers and paint buildings we 1) Continue to successfully expand the square footage of painted white roofs within New York City, 2) Expand our successful nonprofit building sponsorship program 3) Use social media to recruit 100s of new volunteers each year.

If we were to coat 5 percent of rooftops per year worldwide, we would be finished by 2030. This would save us 24 billion metric tons in CO2. That happens to be exactly how much the world emitted in 2010. So, in essence, this solution would be like turning the world off for an entire year — while also saving some money on the energy bills.

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