Providing ample clean water for human consumption and use takes a huge amount of energy and often impacts our wetlands, ponds, lakes, streams, rivers and estuaries. These natural systems are critical for the survival of natural habitats, native plants, birds, and other wildlife. By modifying the may we use energy and design our backyard landscapes, we can dramatically reduce our energy use and our water consumption and contribute to conserving these vital resources.
Improving your home’s energy and water efficiency also saves you money. Here are some fast facts: Home heating and cooling generally accounts for 50 percent of the electricity you use at home. Watering lawns account for half of potable water use. Energy Star estimates that you could save up to 20 percent of air conditioning costs just by sealing and insulating your home. A shade tree planted on the west side of your home can also provide valuable free energy saving benefits.
With growing numbers of people and rapid rates of development, many of our native habitats are disappearing. Birds and other wildlife that call Florida home have fewer places to breed and spend the winter, and the millions of migrating birds that pass through our state twice each year have fewer places to rest and refuel. Through conservation you can help make sure there is enough water for both human consumption and the natural environment. And by planting the right plants in the right places, you can save both water and energy and provide food, water and shelter for birds.