Energy conservation is not limited to your home or business. There are ways to create sustainable landscapes that will assist in reducing monthly energy costs. With the spring season in full effect, now is the time to take advantage of these tips while planting your spring foliage.
- Plant trees on the west, south and east sides to shade the house. Planting can save you up to 25% on the electric bill. In the summer, the dense foliage blocks the rays of the sun and in the winter the warmth of the sun can filter through the branches, if deciduous trees are used. (The Arbor Day Foundation notes that the highest level of energy savings and the best use of shade generally comes from planting broadleaf trees about 10 feet from the walls to the west, east or northwest of the house.)
- Using evergreens will protect your house from the wind on the west and north.
- Plant drought-tolerant shrubs (Xeroscaping) will lower water consumption rates as well as save time and money on cutting grass and maintenance.
- Collect rain water in rain barrels for watering gardens and lawns.
- Composting can be a great way to recycle kitchen waste by reusing the compost to nourish the garden
- When cutting the grass don’t collect the clipping, leave them on the ground to become mulch for healthier lawns.
- Plant native shrubs and other plants that require less maintenance and watering than non-natives plants.
- Planting grasses and groundcovers around the base of your home near walkways and pavers helps keep it cooler. Groundcovers also can replace lawns reducing the area needing to be constantly maintained by watering and mowing.