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Tips for Creating an Eco-Friendly Landscape : Ask the Landscape Guy
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Tips for Creating an Eco-Friendly Landscape

by Tim Sanford on 03/07/11

Time to think about ways to reduce your carbon footprint and do your part to create a healthy, sustainable environment.  Here are some simple tips for reducing energy costs and waste in your little piece of the world. 

Plant Trees and Shrubs to Reduce you Energy Needs - Plant trees around your house to provide shade in the summer and create wind protection in the winter.  Plant deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home where the sun’s rays can be the most intense and direct.  In the summer these full trees will shade your home, and in the winter these trees will lose their leaves and allow the suns light to heat your home.  To shield your home from the winter winds, plant shrubs and evergreens close to the house.  Determine your dominant wind direction and plant on that side of your home. 

 Utilize Native Plants in your Landscape - Native plants are plants that have naturally adapted to growing in your area’s geographic conditions.  This means these plants will naturally require less water, maintenance and are more resistant to disease and pests than other plants.  Native plants also will attract local wildlife since these animals have relied on them for food, shelter and nesting in the wild.  Try to incorporate native plants into your landscape.  Visit this native plant site for a list of native plants by state and where to find them.

Compost - To help reduce waste and fertilize your plants organically start to compost!  Food scraps, kitchen waste and grass clippings make great composting materials.  Adding compost to soil before you plant will help plants thrive by improving the soils structure and fertility and allowing the soil to retain more water.  Visit the EPA to learn more about how to compost.

Use Solar Powered Landscape Lighting - To cut down on your energy bills, use solar powered landscape lighting to light outdoor paths and driveways.  Many of these lights are attractive, easy to install (no wires or electricians) and can be found at many home improvement stores.    

Grow a Small Vegetable Garden - As we have talked about before on this blog, a great way to reduce spending and eat the freshest vegetables is to grow them yourself.  Check out our earlier blog post on vegetable gardens.

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