Saving energy and reducing the carbon footprint in your sustainable yard
1. Plant trees strategically to use less energy to heat or cool your house.
- Evergreen trees on the northeast side of a house buffer cold winter winds.
- Deciduous trees on the south and west sides of a house provide shade in summer, but let in sunlight in winter.
- Trees and other plants are carbon sinks. They absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen that we need to breathe.
- Information about Needham’s Tree Planting Program.
2. Reduce the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers. More information [pesthealthcopy.pdf]
- Synthetic fertilizers require a lot of energy to produce.
- Try using compost for fertilizer and avoid using pesticides, and your plants and lawn will be healthier and safer.
- Information about pesticides and health
3. Use a push (reel) mower or electric mower instead of polluting gasoline-powered mower.
4. Use free solar energy.
- Put photovoltaic cells on the south-facing roof of your house.
- Use a clothes line when the weather allows.
5. Buy locally grown food and consider growing some of your own food.
- Less energy will be needed to transport food.
- Food will taste better and be safer and more nutritious.
6. Retain and save rain water to use in your yard instead of water from your tap.
- Use rain barrels to collect and store rain water.
- Landscape with drought-tolerant (xeriphytic) plants.
- Have permeable paving installed.
- Click here for flowers that attract bees.
- Click here for plants that attract birds and butterflies.
- Click here for a brochure on invasive plants and native replacements from the New England Wild Flower Society.