Spring has finally sprung in the northern hemisphere. And for homeowners, that means it’s time to start thinking about landscaping projects.
Smart landscaping not only increases a home’s curb appeal it can also lower its heating and cooling costs and help reduce water use. Keeping the sun off of homes and windows during the hot summer months can save both energy and money as less energy is required to keep a home comfortable. Good landscaping can cut air conditioning costs by 15-50 percent.
Well-placed trees, shrubs, or vines can deliver effective shade and block the sun from streaming in windows and heating walls and roofs during certain times of the day. On average, smart landscaping can save enough energy to pay for itself within 8 years. Learn more landscaping strategies with this useful infographic from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Of course, if you live in an area with high wildfire risk, you should avoid specific types of trees like pine or cypress, be sure to clear leaves and needles off your roof, and prune tree branches that are within six feet of your roof to reduce fire danger.
If planting a tree in your own yard isn’t an option, you could plant a tree for a dollar by donating to The Canopy Project that plants trees in areas where communities are most at risk from climate change. This is just one of many activities planned for Earth Day 2021 with three days of climate action focused around the theme Restore Our Earth, beginning April 20th.