Mulch comes in a variety of materials, which allows for creative landscape designs using different textures and colors. Mulch provides additional benefits as one of the alternatives to grass lawns such as moisture retention, weed control, protection against erosion, heat retention and protection of root systems. If the yard is being landscaped with features such as flower or rock gardens, mulch is ideal for creating pathways throughout the yard. The types of mulch include wood chips, shredded bark, sawdust, pine needles and straw mulch. Another alternative material is rubber mulch made with recycled tires. It is long-lasting, permeable and doesn't attract bugs.