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Smart Way To Plant Trees To Save On Energy Costs

Smart Way To Plant Trees To Save On Energy Costs

A computer program helps property owners improve the environment.

Smart Way to Plant Trees to Save on Energy Costs

Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 19:30

Marsha Lewis, Contributing Producer

(Inside Science TV) -- They are big and beautiful and they come in all shapes and sizes. But Joe Purohit, Founder and CEO of EcoLayers, a company in California, said that trees can do a lot more than simply spruce up a landscape.

"Instead of planting them for the aesthetic appeal because it looks nice, why not look a little further," said Purohit.

Trees take carbon dioxide from the air, and they use and store the carbon in various ways. Planting the right tree in the right location can increase the carbon stored inside the tree and help the property owner save money on energy costs.

"If you select a tree that's casting a nice shadow in summer but letting the sun come through in winter, you're going to get the benefit of summer and winter," said Purohit.

To help consumers pick the best type of tree and location for their tree, Purohit helped develop the ecoSmart Landscapes  program. Using Google Maps, homeowners can zoom in on their property to identify existing trees and then plan where they'd like to plan new trees using the map as a visual guide. As the user tests different locations for the trees, the program calculates energy savings based on their placement. The tool also suggests tree breeds based on the geographic location of the property and weather conditions in the area.

Once the homeowner enters the size and type of the trees on their property, the program calculates the amount of carbon stored in the tree.

"Have nature work for us. That's the real fundamental issue," said Purohit.

Get Inside the Science

New Online Tool Estimates Carbon and Energy Impact of Trees

ecoSmart Landscapes (Beta)

Joe Purohit, Founder and CEO of Ecolayers

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Author Bio & Story Archive

Marsha Lewis is a freelance producer based in California.  She has won 11 National Telly Awards and nine Regional Emmy Awards for her work in local and national syndicated news.

I’ve dedicated my time to reporting and producing stories focused on medical, science and technology. I created a nationally award winning series dedicated to promoting women and their great accomplishments.  Now I’ve taken that expertise outside the traditional TV news format and broadened the viewership to people around the world.