Save Time, Money, The Environment

Saving the environment can start in your own backyard when you discover how to landscape with an eco-friendly design that will go the distance with minimal maintenance. From synthetic turf to low-water plants, discover six eco-friendly landscaping tips to make your backyard a greener place.

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Reconfiguring your lush outdoor space is the best way to be kind to Mother Nature. "Using the right plant materials in the right places, so that it will still look good in 20 years with a minimal maintenance after-care program is the sustainable dream," states landscape designer Dennis Stevens of LindemanStevens.com. "Unfortunately, many people still think this means a dry, barren look -- and they are completely wrong." Here are some earth-friendly tips for landscaping.

1Sow in synthetic turf

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that "maintenance over a 20-year span for a non-native turf grass landscape can cost almost seven times more than the cumulative costs of maintenance for a native prairie or wetland." Looking for a great way to save money and save water? Consider removing your water-guzzling grass and swapping it for synthetic turf to save a bundle on your water bill. Check with your city to see if any rebate programs are available.

2Reduce your lawn space

Taking out your turf grass isn't the only tip for landscaping to save money and water. By reducing the amount of space your lawn expands, you can still keep your beloved green grass and maintain a more eco-friendly design. Simply replace lawn space with low-maintenance plants, an eco-friendly patio or low-impact walkway.

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3Choose certified wood

Minimize the impact your landscaping has on the Earth's resources and maximize your eco-friendly design by looking for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approval. Be sure to avoid wood treated with chemicals by opting for a rot-resistant species grown in your region.

4Reuse material

Take a look around your property for materials you can reuse or recycle to reduce waste and save money in the process. Ask neighbors for materials they aren't going to use or inquire at local building sites for materials that can be salvaged.

5Opt for low-maintenance plants

Choosing drought-resistant plants will not only save water, but also reduces pruning maintenance. However, cactus and yucca aren't your only options. Ornamental grasses, asters, pansies, marigolds and tulips all defy the bad rap low-maintenance flora usually gets. Planting clover may bring good luck to your landscape, as it's naturally insect-resistant and contends well against weeds, cutting out your need for pesticides and weed killer. Or look into xeriscaping to group plants by watering need and reduce the amount of water you use overall.

Learn how going green on a budget can save you money >>>

6How to landscape to save energy

Did you know that a strategically placed tree can help save energy in your home? Or that channeling summer breezes to your home can reduce the amount of energy you use? Research your region on the U.S. Department of Energy's landscaping map to discover energy-conserving tips for landscaping in your area.

With a few tips for landscaping your outdoor space with an eco-friendly design, you can green up your backyard and make Mother Nature proud. Just be sure to research which plants and trees work best for your region before you dig in. With these six eco-friendly landscaping tips, you can learn how to landscape to save money, energy, water and your time, so you can spend less time doing yard work and more time enjoying your backyard!

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