Having a beautiful, lush green lawn is something that makes many homeowners feel proud. Lawns however take a great deal of water and pesticides to maintain. More precisely, lawns use 3 trillion gallons of water a year, 200 million gallons of gas, (for mowers) and 70 million pounds of pesticides. In addition, scientists are concerned that these lush lawns are really dead zones for all the birds and insects that are needed for pollination. What so many home owners are considering is replacing part or all of their lawns with a variety of natural ground covers. Most grow only a few inches and come in a variety of greens, violets and burgundy. Consider clover, ginger, creeping thyme, Ivy, vinca these are but a few. Most of them bloom once a year, spread slowly and eliminate the need for maintenance and can greatly reduce a water bill. One main thing to consider is to grow plants and ground cover that are native to the area in which you live. In areas like Arizona and California which have suffered from extreme drought, programs are being implemented to encourage homeowners to convert their lawns. California has started the “Turf Replacement Initiative” which offers rebates for every yard of lawn that is naturalized.