Beyond Green Roofing: Less Demanding, Sustainable Roof Materials

Posted on: 24 May 2023


When you think about sustainable roofing, what materials come to mind? Many people initially picture a green roof or one that has been planted with sedums and other plants. Indeed, green roofs can be great for the environment. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air, and they are made from natural materials that don't pollute. But they are also heavy, hard to maintain, and pretty niche. If you want a sustainable roof with less hassle, here are some more realistic materials to consider.

Recycled Metal Roofing

Not all metal roofs are made from recycled metal, but a good number of them are. It should not be tough to find at least one roofing company in your area that installs recycled metal roofs. You get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your roof is made from a product that could have otherwise been waste. Plus, metal roofs can save you energy in the summer since they reflect heat and keep your home cooler. The metal can also be recycled a second time when you eventually retire the roof. The downfall of metal roofing is that it looks, well, like metal. Not everyone likes that modern look, so you'll need to consider how you feel about it for your own home.

Cedar Shakes

If you want a more traditional or rustic-looking roof, then cedar shakes are a good material to consider. They're made from wood, and nothing else. Cedar trees grow quickly, so those that are knocked down to make roofing are easily replaced. Cedar will eventually biodegrade when you remove the roof. Plus, you won't have to spray it, paint it, or otherwise treat it with polluting chemicals. The cedar naturally repels bugs and resists rot. The downside to cedar roofing is that it is flammable and not recommended in areas where wildfires are a concern.


Slate roofing is made from pieces of stone. While they won't biodegrade, they also won't cause any harm to plants or animals when you dispose of them. Slate roofing lasts for many, many years, which helps reduce your roof waste overall. Plus, it is energy-efficient. However, slate tends to cost significantly more than metal or cedar roofing, so you'll want to get a quote before you commit to it as a roofing material.

Green roofing is not the only sustainable option these days. Consider slate, cedar, and metal, and see which one best suits your needs. 

For more info, contact a local roofing company