Agriculture Minister Audley Shaw is calling for Jamaicans to turn their house tops green this summer.
But before you get the wrong idea, the green refers to the planting of plants on the roofs of buildings which would make inside buildings cooler as Jamaicans try to beat the incessant the country is undergoing.
“Planting green roofs can lower the average temperature in your house and lower cooling costs this summer,” the Minister posted on his official Facebook page recently, his hashtags suggesting that these were sustainable designs and could be a project for the summer.
However, his suggestion might be a wee bit late, as the eastern end of the island in particular, continues to grapple with drought conditions, making it not so much an ideal time to try to undertake cultivation.
A few persons who responded the post, were very skeptical, claiming that the Minister and his Cabinet colleagues, ought to first practice what he is preaching and the nation would follow.
“The Government could lead by example by applying this green roof model to the new Parliamentary building and the new Morant Bay Urban Centre. Not one Government building has adopted this concept, “Jermaine Donavan argued.
Another follower, Novlette Ryman was not convinced that this would be ideal.
“Haven for insects, lizard, unwanted creatures,” she posted, to which Mr. Shaw promptly responded: “Neem oil prevents that.”
His post though, racked up several likes and positive responses, many of which were from persons who extended their full support, some even indicating that they had seen green roofs in other countries.
“I am picturing cutting some calaloo off my roof,” one follower Phyllis Sutherland responded.
“Love the idea. I really think the country should collaborate with some environmentalists, because they always have innovative ways that can help issues such as these,” Dannielle Bardowell said.
Green roofs, also known a living roofs, are partially covered with vegetation, such as Savannah grass in the Caribbean. In some countries, crops such as lettuce, beans, cucumbers, onions and carrots comprise green roofs. They are usually planted over a waterproofing membrane and may include additional layers such as drainage and irrigation systems.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has long touted the use of green roofs in mitigating heat. According to the EPA, green roof temperatures can be up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 degrees Celsius) lower than conventional roofs, as well as reduce building energy use.
In 2016 the North American green roof industry was estimated to have grown more than 10 percent over 2015.