Published on October 22nd, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans
Landscaping for a Sustainable Home
Any sustainable home should include enviroscaping as a way not only to beautify the home’s surroundings, but also as an eco friendly way to save energy and enhance the surrounding ecosystems. The practice of enviroscaping is quite simply using your landscape as a way to reduce energy use. Enviroscaping cuts summer and winter energy costs by protecting homes from winter wind and summer sun, reduces the consumption of water, pesticides, and fuel for landscaping and maintenance, and helps to control noise and air pollution.
Landscaping is usually built into the costs of any new home project. If you are building a new home, consult with your builder about utilizing green building practices, and make sure that they follow the same plan when it comes time to plant trees. For those of you who are giving your existing home a green makeover, the following tips can help your green remodeling proejct lend the environment an even greater green hand:
Your plan should include both deciduous and evergreen trees. The best locations for deciduous trees are on the south and east sides of a house to provide shade during summer, and allow the sun’s warmth to penetrate during the winter months when they lose their leaves. Evergreens are best planted on the north and west sides to provide protection from cold winter winds.
Shrubs and ground covers can help improve the energy-efficiency of your landscape as well. Planting shrubs, bushes, and vines next to your home creates a dead air space that insulates your home both winter and summer. Groundcover plants will shade the soil and pavement around your home, reducing radiation and cooling air before it reaches your home.