In the Eastern states, including Wisconsin, approximately 30% of household water usage goes to keeping lawns alive. Using water systems, or landscaping with plants that require less supplemental water, can greatly reduce the monthly utility bill.
In Western states, where up to 60% of household water usage is spent on lawns, water systems are often not legal. However, the desert states are home to a wonderful variety of drought-tolerant native plants. Landscaping with these species conserves water, reduces monthly expenses, and restores a unique sense of place.
Landscaping choices can affect heating and cooling bills too. A mature shade tree can significantly reduce summertime temperatures in a neighboring building, while letting sunshine in to warm the building in colder months. A row of trees or bushes can block winds that pull heat out of a home in winter.
In summer, even smaller plants that don’t provide shade can cool a home through their processes of exchanging water with the air. A yard full of healthy plants is like a green air conditioner!
Finally, a natural yard can often be cared for with minimal use of motorized equipment, which saves gas and electricity. Letting nature work for us can improve our comfort and quality of life, while keeping money in our pockets.