2010 Subaru Forester with green-roof optionEnlarge Photo
Nature-loving lesbians everywhere will surely rejoice at the introduction of Subaru's new environmentally-friendly, CO2 reducing, organic rooftop carpeting just announced for its award-winning 2010 Forester model. Subaru announced today it will soon be offering this new Green Roof option to its legions of environmentally-conscious buyers.
2009 Subaru ForesterEnlarge Photo
Editor John Voelcker, of sister site Green Car Reports, is understandably overjoyed at this totally organic Subie feature. He claims that Subaru has "upped the ante" in advancement of energy-saving roof designs, pointing out that the electricity-generating photovoltaic matrix roofs in the 2010 Toyota Prius and Fisker Karma started the trend of using solar power to vent heat from the cabin, sharply reducing A/C energy draw upon startup.
credit: jacilluch, flickr.comEnlarge Photo
Yes, the Green Roof Forester's keeps things cooler, what with its hydrated, three-inch thick layer of dirt and sod that effectively absorbs the bulk of the sun's rays that typically bake metal auto roofs and heat the interiors under them. But the roof also adds singular style to each vehicle so equipped, and its vegetation actually consumes CO2 while you drive.
credit: manyfires, flickr.comEnlarge Photo
Subaru shared that the biggest development hurdle was finding a polymer tough enough to withstand all four seasons and protect the steel roof underneath from water contamination. Other challenges were the development of a 1.5-inch thick mesh that bolsters development of the root structure, and creating "drainage channels that route non-absorbed rainwater into the car's standard roof gutters," says Voelcker.
Perhaps the coolest feature of this roof is that it will, of course, only support varietal vegetation most suited to a particular locale. Subaru will first offer a hardy NFW (New Forest Wildflower) mix that should flourish relatively trouble-free coast-to-coast, only requiring the occasional garden hose in arid climes.
Ultimately, environmental specialists from Fuji Heavy Industries plan a range of seed mixes tailored to owners' tastes and regional climactic nuances; moss and cacti are definites, and a venus flytrap special edition is said to be a strong possibility for armpit-humid locales like Richard Read's home city of New Orleans. And for the rare Subie owner with 13 dead potted plants stuffed in the attic, even an artificial turf option will be available.
Voelcker reports that Subaru "got the idea from its partnership with Greensgrow, a recognized leader in urban farming." Of the partnership, Voelcker said that Subaru spokesperson Aprilla Furst claimed "it became clear to us that having a Subaru 'Green Roof' Forester was a natural extension of our relationship."
Aprilla Furst...you know, like April 1? Just in case you're about to rush to Pike Nursery to create your very own festive Forester forest.