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How to Green Up Your Landscaping

Rain barrels are a great place to start in the greening of your landscape.
Rain barrels are a great place to start in the greening of your landscape.
Jakob Fridholm/Getty Images

­These days, everywhere you turn are tips and tricks to lead a greener lifestyle. You can go green with your transportation by purchasing a hybrid car, sharing a ride, taking the subway or using your feet. Your home can be green in its design, its materials and with the appliances that bathe, feed, heat and cool you. And of course there's the old standby -- recycling. You can recycle everything from a soda can to your motor oil to an outdated cell phone. It's all about reducing your carbon footprint -- basically, the amount of wear and tear you take out on Mother Earth in your everyday life. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

A part of your life that's already green can get even greener -- your landscape. A tremendous amount of time, money and materials go into the average homeowner's landscape. Front and back yards packed with lush grasses and flower beds can come at a cost -- to your pocketbook and to the environment. The National Garden Association says that Americans spend more than $10 billion a year on lawn care. By going green with the design and maintenance of your landscape, you can save time in upkeep and money in the long run, all while doing the environment a favor.

­The ultimate green landscape should have little or no negative impacts on the environment, and there are many ways to make this happen. Choosing all or even just a few methods ca­n go a long way toward enriching the natural environment around your home. Just learning the basics of composting, planting and watering can help reduce your environmental impact. If you want to go really green, you can completely redesign the land around your home for maximum results.