4 ways to conserve energy while landscaping

Planting shade trees can prevent direct sunlight from hitting your home. (Photo courtesy of Vicki Pearson)

Planting shade trees can prevent direct sunlight from hitting your home. (Photo courtesy of Vicki Pearson)

Looking to make some upgrades to your landscape this year? Make sure you keep the environment in mind during your planning. A lot of people are already aware of how to conserve energy within their homes, but here are some tips for your surrounding landscaping.

1. Incorporate native plants

When planning your landscape, incorporating native plants is always a good idea. They are adapted to your area and require less maintenance than exotic plants. You can also reduce the need for pesticides, because they’re more resistant to pests and diseases. You don’t need to exclude foreign plants from your landscaping, but incorporating natives in your plan can make a big difference. 

2. Conserve energy with solar powered lights

Using a few solar powered landscaping lights, as opposed to an entirely electric powered lighting system, can help to reduce your overall energy use.

3. Use natural and organic fertilizers

Using just a couple natural products (including fertilizer and pesticides) can help reduce the amount of potentially harmful wastewater runoff in the environment. This can also create a healthier environment for your family and pets.

4. Plant shade trees to reduce energy use

Planting deciduous trees (trees that drop their leaves in the fall) is a great way to help lessen the work load on your HVAC systems. It can also reduce rays from the direct sun from hitting your home.  When these trees drop their leaves, it allows sunlight to warm a home during the winter. If possible, plant tall trees on the east and west-facing sides of the house.  Planting trees on the south-facing side of your home can help shade the roof.

Mike Blank, CGR/CAPS, is the owner of MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC, based in Millersville, Pa. With more than 30 years of Lancaster Carpentry experience, Blank is past chairman of the Lancaster BIA Remodelers’ Council and a multiple BIA design winner.

As of August 31, 2012, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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