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Why Many Homes Are Turning Toward Energy-Efficient Landscaping

Words by Scott Huntington
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A lot of thought goes into a home to make it look beautiful and fit the needs of the people who live inside it. Landscaping takes a different level of thought than other parts of the home because you must consider what plants would do well in specific areas of your yard. What many homeowners don’t originally consider is how their landscaping affects their energy and natural resource usage. Now that people are more inclined to learn about going green, it’s affecting how landscaping is done before shovels hit the soil.

If you haven’t thought about energy-efficient landscaping, now’s the time. Your yard can be transformed into a more environmentally friendly place even if you’ve already had landscaping done in the past. Read on for more information about why homeowners want this new kind of landscaping and how it could help you in the long run. Anything that saves you money and helps the earth is worth a little time and effort.

Climate Can Save Money

When people think about what plants they want to put in their yard, they weigh the plant type and its needs against the type of climate they live in. This same climate can help you save money with a few landscaping tricks. Think about how the weather is where you live and let that determine your choices.

Hot weather regions make it hard to grow some plants, but other plants can be used to keep your money in your wallet. Heat radiates off cement and pavement, which creates hot air that hovers above places like driveways and sidewalks. While you might not think this would affect your life inside your house, breezes will catch this hot air and push it inside, making your air conditioning unit run into overdrive. Plant tall trees around your driveway that have thick foliage to shade these areas and keep the air around your home from getting any hotter.

Think about what happens with the rainwater in your yard after a storm. It collects all the chemicals in your lawn and takes them to natural streams, where it contaminates the drinking water for animals. It even damages homes, like in Maryland where rainwater runoff made 149 to 159 homes uninhabitable. You can keep your landscaping from contributing to this by cutting down on fertilizer use or planting more foliage to soak up the extra water if you live in a rainy area.

Water Waste Is Dangerous

People talk about cutting back on water, but at the same time they let their sink run when they’re not actually using it or when they do multiple loads of laundry. It might not seem like saving water could help the Earth, but it can. A World Health Organization study showed that 3,900 children die of waterborne illnesses every day. Cutting back on water waste will keep contaminated water out of places where it can’t be filtered or cleaned.

Strategically plan when you’re going to water your plants and how long you’ll let that water run. Ditch the idea of installing a sprinkler system so you can monitor your water usage by turning a hose on and off. You can also replace any existing plants with ones that will require less water, like succulents or other desert plants.

People Want Smaller Carbon Footprints

Everything now is about going green, so turning landscaping into an Earth-friendly project is the natural next step for homeowners to cut down on their carbon footprints. It’s something more people want with each passing day. There are so many ways everyone can contribute, but changing your landscaping will help you make a bigger impact on pollution. See what you can do based on the climate in your area and how you want your yard to look. It’ll give you more peace of mind when it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy the view of your new yard.

Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington is a freelance writer based in Burlington, Vermont.

Read more stories by Scott Huntington