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Every country should be doing this! (ed.)

FB-France-Rooftops-MJS-WP

A new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in either plants or solar panels.

Green roofs, as they are called, have an isolating effect which helps to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building during the winter or cool it in the summer.

They are capable of retaining rainwater and reducing problems with runoff, and also offer birds a place to call home in the urban jungle.

French environmental activists originally wanted to pass a law that would make the green roofs cover the entire surface of all new roofs. However, partially covered roofs make for a great start, and are still a huge step in the right direction.

Some say the law that was passed is actually better, as it gives the business owners a chance to install solar panels to help provide the buildings with renewable energy, thereby leaving even less of a footprint.

Green roofs are already very popular in Germany and Australia, as well as Canada’s city of Toronto! This  by-law was adopted in 2009, by the city of Toronto which mandated green roofs on all new industrial and residential buildings.

Benefits of Green Roofs

There are so many benefits to green roofs. Here are just a few:

  • Adding natural beauty and major aesthetic improvement to buildings, which in turn increases the investment opportunity.
  • Helping contribute to landfill diversion by prolonging the life of waterproofing membranes, using recycled materials, and prolonging the service of heating, ventilation, and HVAC systems through decreased use.
  • Green roofs assist with storm water management because water is stored by the substrate, then taken up by plants, and thus returned to the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation. They also retain rainwater and moderate the temperature of the water and act as natural filters for the water that does run off. They delay the time at which runoff occurs, which results in decreased stress on sewer systems during peak periods.
  • The plants on green roofs do a great job of capturing airborne pollutants and other atmospheric deposition. They can also filter noxious gasses.
  • They open up new areas for community gardens, commercial and recreational space in busy cities where this space is generally quite limited.

France is definitely on the right track, but it should be a mandate that all new buildings being built in North America, and even worldwide, adopt this amazing idea to reap all of the potential benefits.

SEE ALSO

Thanks to MJS

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How a couple of capybaras escaped High Park Zoo, leaving a lone male behind

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/capybara-high-park-zoo-1.3598908

Thanks to MJS

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http://crispgreen.com/

Thanks to MJS

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Toronto Environmental Alliance: Check out this new map of walking distance between Toronto subway stops, a handy resource if you are deciding between walking or taking the subway.

High resolution:

Thanks to MJS

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http://www.ploverlovers.com/blog/2015/toronto-islands-piping-about-their-plovers/

Thanks to DRS

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http://news.nationalpost.com/toronto/climate-rally-brings-together-uneasy-coalition-of-naomi-klein-and-union-boss-jerry-dias

Thanks to KC, that Raging Granny

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wish I could go!

Native Canadian Centre’s – First Story Tour program presents a walking tour of Pine Point Park
15 Grierson Rd., Toronto, Ontario M9W

Saturday May 23rd from 11am – 12:30pm
Sunday May 24th from 2pm – 3:30 pm

“We humans build community in a type of conversation with the natural world,” – Toronto architect William Woodsworth, Mohawk.

Inspired by that insight, this walk will explore Pine Point Park along the Humber River. We will discuss how this Canadian Heritage River was a vital link between the different First Nations of Toronto’s past and present. Plants, animals, medicines and environment. In modern times, highway 401 passes over the Humber.

This tour is a part of Doors Open Toronto. On Saturday at the end of our tour you will be invited to join Freedom Fridays for a party in Pine Point Park from 1-7pm and the unveiling of a new mural by Essencia Art Collective.

Thanks to DRS

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