Natural Isn’t Always Green

Who doesn’t like the look of a natural thatch – understated and full of character, it’s a calming visual reminder of a simpler lifestyle free of worries. In today’s world of concrete monotony, it not only stands out but preserves the language of vernacular architecture – reminding us of traditions and local craftsmanship.
While the rustic thatch ‘style’ has its many merits, the thatch, which is usually made of natural materials, such as palm leaves, grass and reeds, isn’t the most practical option for roofing anymore. The ‘natural’ materials used are often not a choice in the interest of the environment.

Here are few reasons why a natural thatch isn’t the most sustainable option for you if you are an environment lover –

The Cost Nature Pays

The materials used to make natural thatch – reeds, palm leaves, coconut fronds or grass are not always harvested sustainably. In many parts of the world, these natural materials are already on the verge of waning due to overuse and exploitation for a ‘natural’ look.

High Maintenance 

Surely you didn’t think natural roofs would last forever! Being organic they are prone to decay faster. Shedding is an added pain that needs to be taken care of. The roofs are also prone to fungus and mould attacks in humid climates, making their maintenance a challenge. So, not only do these natural roofs add to your maintenance budget but are also a huge burden on the environment as they need to be replaced every other year.

Fire Prone

Natural thatches are notorious for being fire prone. These dried natural materials used in natural thatches are a perfect recipe for a fire mishap waiting to happen. Not only do these roofs catch fire quickly but can blow up into a manmade disaster as easily.


Natural thatches make your home a magnet for insects, pests and other small animals. Birds scouting for nesting material or even looking for a nest space may adopt your home as theirs. While you may have to pay a huge price if rodents make their way to your furniture from these roofs, keeping insects in check particularly requires intensive toxic treatments. Fumigation, which is commonly done for such roofs involves toxic pesticides that cause harm to the environment. Surely, a natural look shouldn’t come at this cost to nature.

Energy Hungry

When it comes to energy consumption one has better options available than natural thatch. Palmex Synthetic leaves, for example, are installed in such a way that they allow for better ventilation. This means a cooler under-the-roof temperature letting you save on those electricity bills as well as the energy you consume!

For those who like the rustic and easy-going look of a natural thatch, they can pick options that preserve the look of the thatch, while replacing the material with a more reliable and sustainable one. Palmex’s synthetic thatch leaves come confirmed with a green building LEED Certification – fireproof, free of pests, recyclable and long lasting (they come with a life expectancy of 50 years), you can have a thatch roof that’s green all the way!

Elizabeth Raj | Blogger

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