Are you looking for ways to make your home more beautiful with the environment in mind? Pavers are a surprising answer. Pavers are interlocking concrete or stone modules that builders use to create walkways and patios. The results are not only more distinctive and beautiful than plain concrete but also more eco-friendly. Here are several reasons why pavers are a great choice for a greener home.
The Water Cycle
Concrete walkways, driveways, and patios are non-permeable which means rather than allowing water to soak through, these surfaces direct water into a storm water drain. This prevents rainwater from penetrating the soil to offer nourishment for the plants in your yard. Some of the Earth’s fresh water — a vital and finite natural resource — is being diverted from the natural cycle of evaporation and rainfall.
Paved surfaces are laid with joints between each paver and then filled with tiny stones. These joints and the gravel base below the pavers allow water to flow into the soil in the way nature intended, promoting the natural water cycle.
Image via Flickr by positionmktg
Ground Water Reservoirs
“Ground water” refers to the water that lies beneath the surface of the soil, mostly in underwater aquifers. Ground water is an important part of the earth’s water cycle, but human habitation is damaging these underground stores of fresh water. When homeowners use permeable pavers, they are allowing rainwater to restore and replenish the Earth’s ground water reservoirs.
The layers of tiny pebbles that fill the joints between pavers mimic one of nature’s filtration systems. Filtering water through layers of stone and pebbles is a common tactic among survivalists because it can effectively reduce the number of pollutants in the water. The pebble joints and gravel base of a paved surface act in much the same way, filtering the water as it enters your soil. Below the gravel base is usually a layer of permeable fabric and then soft sand which completes the filtration process.
Eco-conscious homeowners can choose permeable pavers made with recycled materials. If you’re replacing an old concrete surface, you can even recycle the concrete to be made into new paving stones. You can keep material out of landfills and complete the circle of recycling while still upgrading or enhancing your home and landscaping.
Choosing materials that wear well and don’t need to be replaced often is an important aspect of an eco-friendly lifestyle. Pavers are made from extremely durable materials, and the flexible seams between paving stones make them perfect for high traffic areas. Pavers are one of the materials recommended for parking lots as a low-impact development strategy, which gives you an idea of the amount of heavy traffic they can absorb without damage. Most pavers can also be flipped, so even if they become oil-stained, they don’t need to be replaced.
Replacing some of your concrete surfaces with permeable pavers will upgrade your home’s curb appeal and outdoor landscaping while benefiting the environment at the same time. You can replace everything from your front walkway to your driveway with this versatile building material.