White Out Global Warming is an upbeat, animated public service announcement advocating painting rooftops white to cool down NYC in the summer.
Painting rooftops white is a simple and cost effective way to reduce energy consumption by reflecting the sun’s heat, lowering cooling costs, and in turn mitigating global warming. This piece raises awareness on certain factors particular to urban environments such as “Urban Heat Island”, the phenomenon of excessive heat build-up in large cities caused by solar radiation being absorbed and retained in building materials such as metal, concrete and asphalt.
The playful style of this PSA encourages viewers to do their part against what may seem an otherwise insurmountable global problem. Something as simple as painting rooftops white is a surprisingly effective as well as financially rewarding solution.
Video by Matt Dunne, Justin Baez, Eric Abram, Adam Matos, Andrew Sclafani
What you can do:
Find out how you can help the cause!
Learn more about some DIY rooftop projects you can do in New Haven! The White Roof project tells you how & answers a few questions (below):
What’s cool about white paint?
This unique coating stays cooler by reflecting the sun’s rays. It’s rubbery and elastic, that means it can bend on hot days. It lasts longer than a black tar roof, it’s more durable, and when you have to re-coat it many years later you simply add another coat right on top of it. No need to rip up all the black tar.
You can save up to 40% on your electricity bill.
A black tar roof on a 90 degree day can be up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, nearly double the temperature of the outside air. A white rooftop on the other hand will only be around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. On the inside of the home is where you really start to feel the benefits. When you walk into your home with a white rooftop it’s actually going to be cooler than the outside air, around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Whereas on a black rooftop it’s more like an oven, and you’ll be baking at around 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course you’ll immediately turn the air conditioner on, and that’s exactly why you save money when you have a white rooftop instead of a black rooftop.
It reflects sunlight.
The funny thing about the idea is that it’s just so simple. Think about it. When you walk out on a hot day with a black shirt on, you get hotter. It’s because the black shirt is absorbing the rays of the sun. Well, when you wear a white shirt the opposite is true, you are literally reflecting the sun’s rays and are cooler because of it. The same is true of a rooftop. When you have a white roof you reflect up to 85% or more of the sun’s rays. On a black rooftop you only reflect around 20%, major setback for you and the environment.
It reduces smog.
Heat trapping raises ambient air temperatures and causes additional smog to become stuck in our cities. This lowers air quality and causes the summer smog domes that can be observed around American metropolises. White rooftops can help alleviate some of that heat trapping, and if implemented on a large scale could lower air temperatures and reduce smog in our cities. A black rooftop keeps smog in and makes it harder for us all to breathe.
It keeps rain cool.
Something people don’t talk about often enough is how much hotter rain water is in the summer. That’s because black rooftops are really hot, and when rain hits them they get cooled down. What do you think absorbs that heat? The rainwater that is going straight down into sewers and directly back into our waterways. In fact a black rooftop can actually make storm water up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit hotter! A temperature reading of a river on the surface of the water shows that it can be up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer right after a storm. Heating up our waters is bad and destructive.
Want more white rooftops in #nhv?
The White Roof Project is recruiting new buildings, communities, neighborhood partners (and even new cities) all year long. To identify a building or learn more about working with the organization, email info [@] whiteroofproject.org.