Beat the Heat (Island)
When the sun pounds on dark pavement (like the kind you see in most driveways and parking lots) and roofs, the temperature in the surrounding environment goes up, creating what's known as a "heat island effect." The effect is greatest in urban areas with high concentrations of buildings and roads. Cool off your slice of the planet by planting trees to shade at least 50 percent of sidewalks, patios and driveways within 50 feet of your house [U.S. EPA]. When selecting trees and other plants for your property, opt for species native to your region that will require fewer or no pesticides and fertilizers to thrive. And when installing patios and driveways, use white or gray concrete or other materials that reflect rather than absorb radiation.