Greenery for a Greener Home: Sustainable Landscaping

Posted On Monday, 21 June 2021 21:24

The benefits of a garden are numerous when it comes to our physical and mental health, but did you know that a well-planned garden can also have a positive impact on the carbon footprint of your home? Whether you have a small yard or an acre at your disposal, this article will explain how you can use plants and trees to reduce your energy bill, provide a haven for wildlife and improve the overall sustainability of your home. 

How are sustainable landscaping and energy costs connected?

The natural world is a wonderful thing and it is our responsibility to do everything we can to maintain it. However, did you know that by investing in more greenery for your home, you can not only reduce your environmental impact but also your energy bill? A little money left over at the end of the month is certainly an attractive prospect. 

So how does sustainable landscaping work? Trees and plants have the ability to naturally counterbalance the intensity of wind chill in the winter months and the heat of the sun in the summer. Have you ever found yourself seeking the shade of a tree in a park on a scorching hot day? Or shielded yourself behind shrubs and bushes when there is an icy cold wind blowing? If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions then you have enjoyed the counterbalancing effects of the natural world. 

With the right mix of trees and plants for shade and windbreak, you can reduce the need to use air conditioning and heating systems in your home, reducing your energy bill and your environmental impact simultaneously. 

How to landscape sustainably depending on your climate

If you want to landscape sustainably to reduce your energy usage, the correct way to do this will depend on the climate that you live in. 

Cooler climates

For homes in a cold climate, the key to keeping your house warm is to focus on putting in plants and trees that will provide a windbreak. It is also important to ensure that any windows in your home that are south facing and likely to catch the sun are clear of foliage to maximize this exposure and its warming effects. 

Temperate climates

A temperate climate requires you to get the right balance of enough shade in the summer to keep your house cool, but with measures in place to defend from the wind in the winter months. 

Hot climates

If you live in a hot climate, the sustainable landscaping required will depend on whether the climate is humid or arid. For humid climates, you will be wanting to direct whatever breeze there is towards your home and for arid climates ensure your planting maximizes areas of shade on your walls, roof, and windows. 

How to provide a windbreak through sustainable landscaping 

First of all, work out which part of your home is facing north and northwest as this is the area you need to focus on with your sustainable landscaping plan. Next, choose your plants – a mixture of evergreen trees and shrubs work well for windbreaks and you might also want to consider investing in some fencing to ensure maximum protection. 

How to create shade through sustainable landscaping 

For maximum shade without eliminating a cool summer breeze to seep through consider planting deciduous trees (trees that shed their leaves at the end of the growing season) that have a large crown (the top part of the tree) on the south side of your house. A large crown will mean that the tree provides a canopy over your home, providing shade from the blistering heat of the sun. Go for trees with less height towards the west side of the house so that they can provide shade for afternoon sun. 

Sustainable landscaping has the ability to not only reduce your energy bill and improve your carbon footprint, but it will also give you an appealing natural space that is enjoyable to look at and spend time in. Before getting started, it is important to know your space and identify which areas require what planting. Consider investing in the advice of an expert to really maximize the potential of heating or cooling your home in a natural way.

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