Harnessing Texas Sun and Style: Eco-Friendly and Energy-Efficient Roofs for the Lone Star State

Metal Roof for Texas

Texas, known for its sprawling landscapes and intense climate, is also a state that’s increasingly conscious about sustainable living. In the heart of such environmental and weather extremities, the roof over your head plays a pivotal role in your home’s energy efficiency and ecological impact. Here’s a roundup of the most eco-friendly and energy-efficient types of roofs tailored for Texas homeowners.

Cool Roofs: Beating the Texas Heat

The concept of cool roofs is simple: they reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. In the Texan summer, a cool roof can make your home more comfortable by reducing heat transfer into the building, minimizing the strain on your air conditioning, and thereby cutting energy usage.

Materials: Cool roofs can be made of highly reflective types of paint, a sheet covering, or highly reflective tiles or shingles.

Ideal for Texas because: They significantly lower roof temperatures during hot summer months, leading to decreased energy costs and increased indoor comfort.

Green Roofs: A Living Canopy

Green roofs, also known as living roofs, are covered with vegetation over a waterproofing membrane. They are excellent insulators, reduce stormwater runoff, and help combat the urban heat island effect.

Materials: A standard green roof includes a layer of vegetation, a growing medium, a filter membrane, and a drainage layer.

Ideal for Texas because: They provide much-needed green space in urban settings and help insulate buildings from the intense Texas sun, leading to energy savings and improved air quality.

Solar Roofs: Harnessing the Power of the Texas Sun

Solar roofs are designed to generate electricity by integrating solar panels directly into the roofing material. Texas, being one of the sunniest states, offers the perfect opportunity to capitalize on solar energy.

Materials: Solar shingles or tiles, which function both as traditional roofing and as a solar PV system.

Ideal for Texas because: They reduce dependence on fossil fuel energy, harnessing the state’s abundant sunlight to power homes in an eco-friendly manner.

Metal Roofs: Durable and Reflective

Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%. They are durable, recyclable, and can be made from a high percentage of recycled material.

Materials: Typically made from steel, aluminum, or copper.

Ideal for Texas because: Metal roofs withstand severe weather conditions and are excellent for rainwater harvesting, an added benefit in drought-prone areas.

Slate and Clay Tiles: Timeless and Sustainable

Slate and clay tiles are natural materials that have a lower environmental impact over their lifecycle. They are extremely durable, have a natural ability to regulate indoor temperatures, and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.

Materials: Natural slate or terracotta clay.

Ideal for Texas because: They offer a classic aesthetic that matches many Texan architectural styles and provide exceptional longevity and fire resistance.

Reflective Roof Coatings: The Upgrade Option

For those not ready to replace an entire roof, reflective coatings can be applied to existing roof materials to increase their reflective properties.

Materials: Specialized coatings made with reflective pigments.

Ideal for Texas because: They can extend the life of your current roof and improve its solar reflectance and thermal emittance.


For Texas homeowners, the choice of roofing is critical not just for aesthetics but for comfort, cost savings, and environmental stewardship. Whether you opt for cool metal, lush greenery, innovative solar tiles, timeless slate, or an upgrade with reflective coatings, the best roof is one that aligns with your ecological values while standing up to the Lone Star State’s challenging climate. Embrace these eco-friendly and energy-efficient roofing options to protect your home and the environment—one shingle, tile, or plant at a time.

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The Samsung Reclaim

samsung phone

As the name might tell you, the Samsung Reclaim is a little more than just another phone. It’s a newer type of phone that is looking to put a hurt on the immensely wasteful consumer electronics industry, and hopefully, make people think a little bit about the problem of “throwaway” technology while they’re at it. After all, it’s getting a little crazy out there in the electronics world.

The average person goes through a phone every year. Some people go through as many as three phones a year, and they’re always buying the newest and most “up to date” phone whenever it comes out. On the other hand, some people keep the same phone for years at a time because a phone is just that to them– a phone. Throughout the consumer electronics industry, there is a trend toward just tossing out old tech for the new tech that is just a month or two away.

The Samsung Reclaim, however, is made out of recycled materials through and through. Its casing is “reclaimed” from old recycled plastic, and the components are partially recycled from older phones and electronics. One of the other really great aspects of this phone is that it is made without PVC or other harmful materials that can leach out into your skin when it sweats. These things have been linked to cancer and other illnesses, so the Reclaim has taken them out of the equation entirely. The Reclaim instead opts for using less harmful materials and reduces its imprint on the world by significantly reducing the number of materials it uses in total.

In a world of throwaway technology, it’s nice that there’s something out there for the rest of us. If you’re not a smartphone addict, and you just need a great phone that is loaded with features and easy to use, the Samsung Reclaim is made almost entirely with you in mind. It’s worth noting that Samsung has recently overtaken every major cell phone manufacturer in the United States and Canada in terms of sales, so they’re obviously pretty keen at giving people what they want.

Solar Panel Tents

illustration of the sun

The US Army has developed portable tents that have flexible solar panels built into them. The solar cells are based on thin-film amorphous silicon, giving them durability and flexibility. Three models have currently been created and are known as the Power Shade, The TEMPER Fly, and the QUADrant. Each solar tent has a different energy generating capacity depending on the size of the tent and thus the actual number of solar panels that have been installed. “The Power Shade can generate about 3KW of electricity (the largest quantity of the three), the TEMPER Fly outputs about 800W, and the QUADrant generates around 200W of power.” This energy is used to power the high tech communication devices that have become standard for the military. The ability to gain energy from renewable and sustainable sources should greatly decrease their dependence on fuel as well as make the units far more portable.

Nowhere are solar panels more efficient than in the middle of the desert. The cloudless skies and long days will enable the solar panels to generate electricity to the best of their potential. I cannot really think of anyone else that would want to have tents like these. Most campers aren’t going to travel with enough electronic equipment to make such a system necessary, but I certainly cannot speak for everyone.

Source U.S. Army via ElectricTreeHouse

Ring Socket Timer

earth with recycling symbol

Energy conservation should be on the minds of everyone who has an electrical bill to pay. Vampire energy is the electrical power consumed by electronic devices while they are turned off and unused. Most people fail to appreciate how much power is simply wasted in modern homes. By taking the time to turn of surge protectors when you are not using your computer or entertainment system can have a significant effect on the energy consumption of your home and help to make your lifestyle more environmentally friendly.

Shown here is the Ring Socket, featured on Yanko Design’s website. The Ring Socket is a fairly simple idea that builds a timer into an electrical outlet. This functionality forces the user to determine how long they plan on using their electronic device and thus consider home much electricity they are going to consume. Most importantly, the socket isn’t an energy-saving device that relies on the user to turn it off. Even if you forget, the Ring Socket shuts off once the time has expired. The light-up ring would also have an indicator built-in, as shown below. If put into use, I really doubt anyone would ever pay to have a Ring Socket installed on every outlet in their home, but the design addresses an important point in the push for energy efficiency and conservation. People get distracted and even the most energy-conscious person can let their habits slip. The Ring Socket eliminates even the potential to waste power by automatically cutting off electrical devices when the time has run out.

Top 5 Ways to Make Your Kitchen More Eco Friendly


1. Change How You Light Things Up

it or not those little light bulbs that you are using consume a lot
of energy, so why not replace the light bulbs that consume a lot
less energy? Replacing regular light bulbs with CFL (Compact
Fluorescent Light) Bulbs you can make a huge difference. What kind of
a difference you ask? Look at these wattage stats of CFL bulbs
compared to regular bulbs and then you tell me:

Regular Bulb / CFL Bulb

60w /
75w / 20w
100w / 26w-29w
150w / 38w-42w

2. Reduce the Waste of Water

kitchen is one of the top rooms in a home where water is wasted. We
need to try and reduce this dramatically in today’s world. As
supplies of water drop due to rainfall patterns changing this have
become quite important. One of the easiest ways to reduce the waste
of water is by doing something as simple as not leaving the water
running when it isn’t in use. A lot of people tend to turn the water
on a lot higher than they need to as well. Simply reducing the
pressure of the water can sometimes help as well. Ever heard the
phrase, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”? Try using your leftover water
from boiling rice, noodles, etc. to water the garden.

3. Buy Local Produce

local produce is a great way of making your kitchen more
eco-friendly. By bringing local produce into your kitchen you are
helping out the environment more than you will ever know. A lot of
the produce in the United States is shipped around an average of
1,500 miles or so before they are even sold. What makes that bad is
the fact that it takes so much fuel to make those trips. If you are
unable to visit your own local farmers market why not try growing
your own vegetable garden? Not only is it great for the environment
but growing your own vegetable garden can also be quite rewarding
knowing you grew your own vegetables.

4. Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
All the Way

of using chemical filled cleaning products in the kitchen use
eco-friendly cleaning products. Two well-known brands, Palmolive and
Clorox put out a great line of eco-friendly cleaning products. I
have used items from both lines and love them. Not only do they clean
quite well but they also smell good too.

5. Turn to Energy Efficient

Energy Star appliances. Some appliances can be quite hefty when it
comes to the price so be sure to shop around and choose smartly.
Energy Star appliances are typically anywhere from 10% – 20% more
energy efficient than regular kitchen appliances.