Tips to Create an Eco-friendly Landscape and Save on Energy Costs!
1. Incorporate Native Plants in Your Landscaping
When planning your landscape, consider using a collection of native plants. Native plants are adapted to your area, which means they naturally require less maintenance and water than exotic plants. They are also more resistant to pests and diseases than many exotics, reducing the need for pesticides. Additionally, native plants attract native wildlife and beneficial insects. You don’t need to exclude exotic plants from your yard and garden, but incorporating natives in your design can make a big difference.
2. Plant Deciduous Shade Trees to Reduce Energy Use
Planting deciduous trees (trees that drop their leaves in the fall) is a great way to cool your home and reduce your air conditioning costs during the summer. When these trees drop their leaves, they also allow sunlight to warm a home or building during the winter. Instead of using a power leaf blower that consumes fossil fuels (either in the form of electricity or gas) rake them by hand as a form of exercise. Use the leaves for composting or let the city pick them up for community composting.
To maximize the benefits of deciduous trees, plant tall trees on the east and west-facing sides of your house. This will help shade your home during the hottest months of the summer. Planting trees on the south facing side of your home can help shade the roof, as the sun will not hit that side of the house much during the summer. Make sure to prune trees so that at least a few branches are shading the roof and the air conditioning unit. This adds up to additional energy savings.
3. Plant Evergreen Trees to Block Cold Winter Winds
Evergreen trees are very useful if you want to create a natural windbreak to reduce those chilly winds that hit your home during the winter. It’s common to plant trees for windbreaks on the north and west sides of a home. However, you will need to determine the dominant wind direction for your area and plant upwind. By breaking the wind, such trees will reduce your heating costs in winter.
4. Foundation Plantings
Likewise, shrubs used as foundation plantings can reduce heating costs, creating a “dead air space” insulation around your home. Plant the shrubs a few feet away from your foundation.
5. Allow Native Plants and Groundcovers to Spread In Your Lawn
Not all grasses and groundcover plants want to grow in the same soil. If you notice that moss or a particular groundcover plant wants to spread in your lawn, let it happen. Reduce the size of the lawn you have to mow by installing native perennial and shrub gardens. Choose plants and grasses that are suited to the levels of rainfall, temperature, and sunlight of the area.
nt-size�@0t��P�ily:”Arial”,”sans-serif”;mso-fareast-font-family: “Times New Roman”;color:#003900′>Reduced home or office heating and cooling costs through the careful placement of trees and plants.
- Reduced runoff of storm water and irrigation water that carries top soils, fertilizers, and pesticides into lakes, rivers and streams.
- Fewer yard trimmings.
- Reduced landscaping labor and maintenance costs.
- Extended life for water resources infrastructure thus reduced taxpayer costs.
- In short, plan and maintain your landscape with these principles of water efficiency in mind and it will continue to conserve water, as well as be attractive
Proper landscaping techniques not only create beautiful landscapes, but also benefit the environment and save water. In addition, attractive, water-efficient, low-maintenance landscapes can increase home values!
Convert to Drip Irrigation Systems. Drip irrigation systems (micro-irrigation systems) deliver water directly to your plants with minimal waste. According to Colorado State University, drip irrigation systems are around 90 percent efficient, whereas traditional sprinkle systems are only around 50-60 percent efficient.
Less lawn means less mowing, and less mowing means reduced use of a power source. Less lawn space can also promote water conservation. Lawns require more watering than planting beds. And speaking of irrigation, it is a common misconception that automatic irrigation systems are wasteful. On the contrary: if used properly, automatic irrigation systems can promote water conservation.
Energy Conservation with Plants
A few strategically planted trees can help to cool off a building and reduce the amount of energy allocated to air conditioning.
Our Home Environment goes beyond the Indoors. Our yards have become our outdoor homes – a place to relax and for our children to play. Strategically planting trees and shrubs to shade your home and keep your home naturally cooler in summer can save you money on energy costs per year-while also providing food and housing for birds, protecting against erosion, and cleaning the air as the plants soak up carbon dioxide. With simple GreenScaping principles, you can save time and money while protecting the environment and improving the health and appearance of your yard.
- Save Time by landscaping with plants that require less care.
- Save Money by eliminating unnecessary watering.
- Protect the Environment by using chemicals properly when they are necessary.