Going ‘green’ in the backyard

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Everyone loves the oasis of calm and beauty that's created by a nice green yard. But what about a yard that's "green" at the same time? There are a number of steps you can take to reduce noise, pollution, waste and water usage in your backyard, and save yourself some time and money at the same time. Simple changes all add up, and the following are a few tips to get you started. Reduce your lawn area: The easiest way to reduce the impact of lawn mowing is to simply reduce the lawn in the first place. Instead, consider planting all or part of your lawn area with lush, green, low-growing ground covers -- you'll get much the same look with a lot less water and a big reduction in maintenance. Use drought-resistant plants: In non-lawn areas, look for plants that are stingy water users. Depending on where you live, there are any number of beautiful backyard plants that require a minimal amount of watering. Add mulch or bark to planter areas: The addition of a layer of m...