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Eco Driveway Options: Creating an Environmentally Friendly Drive

Laying a green driveway or eco-friendly drive is easier than you think, and in this article, we’ll show you what is the most environmentally friendly driveway option.

More and more of us are becoming more eco-conscious, and that doesn’t just mean using the green wheelie bin every so often. As driveway experts, we know which drive materials are likely to be more sustainable than others – and which are going to ramp up pollution.

Keep reading to find out about seven green alternatives for your driveway you might not have considered.

Why Choose Environmentally Friendly Driveway?

People choose environmentally friendly drives because they plan to help the planet and although a lot of people worry about the upfront cost, it’s actually not as much upfront as people initially think.

7 Green Driveways to Consider

Crushed Concrete

Crushed concrete is a great sustainable driveway choice as it’s made from recycled slabs, pavement and road. Much like porous concrete you’d lay for your driveway otherwise, this crushed option lets water flow right through, providing you have a suitable base and sub base.

Crushed concrete typically comes from demolition sources. It’s more eco-conscious than traditional concrete as you’re not generating carbon dioxide during the laying. That, and you’re not adding more driveway material to the eventual landfill. You get all the benefits of concrete without the environmental impact.

Asphalt Driveway

A porous asphalt driveway is not only great for the planet, it’s amazingly convenient. You won’t need to wait for your surface to cure, either.

A naturally porous surface such as traditional asphalt will let rainwater and other runoff simply soak through and flow back into the natural environment. Of course, you need to make sure you have a SUDS compliant base and sub base in effect, too.

There are some concerns that standard asphalt may not be the most sustainable option on its own. If this is a worry for you and asphalt made from recycled materials is unavailable, it will be more eco-friendly to simply seal over an existing asphalt driveway like new.

Natural Stone Pavers

Traditional materials such as natural stone are, of course, great for green driveways as there’s no need to create anything from scratch. Indian sandstone, for example, is naturally occurring, and in addition, it’s aesthetically pleasing.

Not only that, but this porous stone is kinder to the planet in that it’ll let the water soak right through into the ground. Homeowners won’t have to worry about flooding, either.

Natural stone pavers are weather resistant to a degree – even more so if you seal them properly – and providing you care for them with green cleaners (made specifically for your stone type), they will withstand years of use.

Gravel Driveways

Gravel can be an amazingly green driveway choice if you use it alongside an eco grid system. A grid system used as a base for your driveway will allow grass to grow and your soil to breathe.

Gravel will also let water flow through into the earth, with your car and other vehicles evenly supported. EcoGrid, for example, is a leading option and alternative to hard surfaces that are less friendly.

A crushed stone such as gravel will compact well to make a solid surface, and again, sealing will protect it even further. A gravel driveway on its own is an appealing choice, but it also makes for a great top layer as part of a green driveway too.

Permeable Paving

Permeable paving – or porous concrete – is a variant of a traditional mix that pretty much does what it says on the tin. Concrete isn’t naturally permeable, which means you’d either need to look for a vertical piping system to prevent flooding. However, another option is to invest in a specifically porous mix.

This type of greener driveway prevents water from running off and generally won’t demand as much material used in the installation. Porous pavement and driveway concrete, too, will keep water draining back to where it’s needed the most and not pooling on your drive.

Grass Pavers

Grass may seem like a strange choice for a driveway. However, a grass paver driveway is very different from a regular lawn. A layer of sand is laid first, then over this sandy foundation is a layer made out of plastic mesh with holes filled throughout by a sandy loam material similar to soil.

This ensures the surface remains stable and vehicles won’t damage the grass roots whilst allowing the free flow of excess water, making these driveways one of the best environmentally friendly options.

Hempcrete Bricks

Hempcrete bricks are pretty new on the scene, but they’re causing a positive stir in the construction world. This green option is easy to transport and install as they are exceptionally light – and each brick will actually consume CO2.

Layered with a lime-based binder, you not only have the kindness to the planet covered, but you’re also helping to fund a growing trade in carbon-friendly brick.

The price of this surface paving will vary, and it’s not always readily available. However, they are great for drainage into the ground and make for some robust, reliable parking areas for years to come. You’re likely to see this eco driveway option popping up a lot soon enough.

Here are some benefits of this carbon-neutral material that homeowners may not know

3 Reasons to Build an Eco-Friendly Driveway

It’s a matter of conscience.

Choosing kinder materials is a conscionable choice – we’re causing serious damage to the planet, and we’re killing off habitats for animals in the bargain. Even something as simple as concrete or cement production creates CO2 and creates additional waste that won’t biodegrade in the years to come.

Eco driveways use recycled material or those found in the natural world – there’s no need for you to create any more pollution. Moreover, eco variants on cement and asphalt are just as durable and reliable as ‘the real deal.

You’ll help water to drain

A significant benefit to most green driveway ideas is that they primarily come permeable as standard. A porous surface will let water drain through to the soil beneath instead of causing runoff and pooling.

When installing permeable paving or other options, you get the dual benefit of a low flooding risk, and you allow water to travel back into the environment.

Your grass grows stronger with water – that much is obvious. When it’s pooling in the middle of your driveway, it’s going nowhere fast. Do your lawn and other grass a favour – and let water get back to where it needs to be. Flooding’s going to take years off your driveway stones, too. Overall, it’s just slightly less hassle than some other surfaces.

It’s not as expensive as you think

Many people avoid green options because they worry it’ll cost them more money to switch. Given that ‘green thinking’ is more mainstream now than ever before, you might be surprised at how affordable green driveway costs actually are.

Prices for repurposed stone, recycled plastic, etc. are unlikely to break the bank, and it’s no longer ethical for contractors to charge you more for the privilege.

It’s worth comparing the prices of traditional driveways and greener options before you make the assumption it will break the bank.

Last Word

Looking after the planet starts at home, not just in terms of the rubbish you throw away. With a green driveway option, you can safely drive and park your car across several layers of eco-friendly material that will also save you drainage headaches. No more ruts and potholes filling with water – and the environment will thank you for the effort.

Take a look at the options we’ve listed above if you’re already trying to do your best by the planet. Give your grass something extra to drink, and extend your eco-friendly behaviour into your front yard.