Spending some quiet moments in your yard with plants and observing wildlife is very beneficial, nurturing therapy - and it costs you nothing. If gardening is one of your hobbies than you know what I'm talking about and if you're not, it's never too late to start growing some easy care flowers and soon after enjoy their new growth, blooms and fruits (if they produce any).
However, today I'm not talking about growing just any kind of plants but primarily about the "green landscaping" which includes:
- growing native plants that use the least amount of watering once established
- growing plants, suitable for xeriscaping because they are also draught-resistent
- planting groundcovering plants instead of big areas of lawn (lawns are the biggest consumers of drinking water in U.S. - besides watering in modern agriculture)
- planting trees and brushes to prevent the run-off of the rain water
- planting deciduous trees so that they cool a home during warmer months, thus reducing the need for air conditioning
- planting deciduous bushes around the air conditioning unit to keep the unit cool during the summer
- capturing the rain water in the rain barrels (and use that water for watering plants)
In the cities like New York, the "green skyscrapers" started practicing "living roof" which simply means plants on the top of the building. A living roof can capture up to 80 percent of the rain water and has many other benefits. Keeping the streets cooler during the heat of the summer is just one of them.