When it’s time to get a new roof, there are many things that you’ll need to consider. If you want to ensure that your new roof is environmentally friendly, you have a few options. Most have a higher than normal upfront investment. However, they tend to pay themselves off over a lengthy period of time. Here are four roofing solutions to consider if you want to cut back on your environmental footprint and work toward making your home more green.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a type of roofing material that lasts much longer than your traditional shingle roofing. Most metal sheets are made out of recycled materials, which is great to cut down on raw material usage. Each metal sheet has the attribute of being extremely reflective, especially to the sun’s UV rays. This translates to a cooler home in the summer as less heat is penetrating the metal roofing. This will lower indoor air conditioning costs throughout the hot summer months. Metal roofing is most beneficial in particularly hot, desert climates, but can be used anywhere.

Solar Roofing

A fairly new style of roofing uses specifically designed roofing tiles that have solar panels installed in them. Unlike traditional solar panels, these roofing tiles don’t get installed on existing roofing. The solar tiles are made to be the roofing materia itselfl. You’ll have to hire specialized roofers to install the solar tiles as most everyday homeowners and even roofing contractors aren’t familiar with this new innovation. The solar panels allow the homeowner to produce much of their own energy needs in a clean way. This almost completely eliminates the need for the homeowner to pay for electricity. For a slightly less expensive option, have larger solar panels installed on your roof to cut back on your electricity bill month after month.

Garden Roofing

For those who don’t have a particularly pitched roof, a living garden roof may be the ultimate eco-friendly choice. Having a garden on the roof allows for optimal home thermal performance and can benefit the air quality in the overall area around the home. These are often recommended for those with low-pitched and flat roofs. You can garden anything on your roof, but most opt for a grassy area or herbs that will not require much extra watering.

Synthetic Shingles

Synthetic shingles are available in shakes and offer an eco-friendly option for homeowners. Synthetic material is both highly durable and long-lasting. It offers a fire-resistant coating and is Class 4 impact-resistance, which makes it a good option if you live in an area prone to storm damage. The best part about this environmentally-friendly roofing option is that it’s virtually maintenance-free. Synthetic shake shingles are a very new option to the roofing market and aren’t readily available in all areas yet.

There are many roofing solutions that have been proven to stand the test of time. As people make the shift to opting for more eco-friendly roofing materials, the list gets longer every year. The above are just four of the most popular roofing options that are currently on the market today.