Believe it or not, proper landscaping can add to the energy efficiency of your home by providing shade in the summer months and insulation in the winter months. The EPA suggests planting trees that lose their leaves on the western and southern sides of your home to support this phenomenon. In the summer, the trees will provide shade and block infrared radiation, keeping your house cooler. In the winter, when the trees lose their leaves, they will allow more sunlight to reach the windows and warm your home. Planting native trees is best, because they will thrive in your city's environment. Additionally, the plants and other landscaping can help support the environment and wildlife around your home. With a focus on the natural landscape and plants native to the area, you can actually save money on the cost of taking care of your lawn, as most natural landscaping requires less water and maintenance, which can add up to an average of $700 a year [source: EPA].