Asphalt and concrete paving has served us well for many decades. With so many millions of people walking, driving, and parking their vehicles on a daily basis, the need for a solid, durable, and long-lasting material to facilitate our transport needs has been met by concrete and asphalt paving, for the most part.
As we move forward into the future, however, the environment has become more of a concern than ever before. And while asphalt and concrete have done well, they aren’t the most eco-friendly materials around, to say the least.
The negative long-term effects of the production, transportation, and installation of asphalt and concrete paving are many, and continue to contribute to the damage to our planet. If we wish to create a world that will thrive and be able to sustain our grandchildren’s children for years to come, we need to implement green paving solutions.
Concrete and asphalt paving may be one of the biggest and continuous threats to our environment, but there are also many alternatives that we can use which work just as well, if not better.
Eco-Friendly Paving Solutions
If you’re looking to make a positive impact on the environment or you just want to stay in line with new, stricter regulations on paving, let’s take a look at some green alternatives for pavement that you can try.
1. Open Concrete Grids
Open grids made from concrete are one alternative to traditional concrete paving. They may still use the same methods and equipment to produce, transport, and install the concrete, but there is less overall concrete being poured and the grid design of the concrete allows for erosion protection and drainage while still being durable enough to handle heavy vehicle traffic.
These grids are usually pre-made into 24’ x 15.75’ blocks which are laid down next to each other. Each block has 4 square holes in it large enough for water to drain through and grass to grow through. The most common strategy for implementing the efficient use of open concrete grids is to fill them with soil once they are laid down and then plant a durable ground cover or grass in them. There are also other variations of open concrete grids that allow for the placement of gravel and drainage-friendly aggregate.
2. Recycled Asphalt and Concrete
Other eco-friendly paving solutions include the use of recycled asphalt and concrete. It provides none of the benefits of sustainable paving, but the process used to implement it is much better for the environment than using fresh materials. You can even use the asphalt or concrete from your current road, parking lot, sidewalk, or fire lane and have it recycled and mixed in with your new surface, lowering the cost and environmental impact even further.
3. Porous Pavement
Porous asphalt and concrete are other options that provide excellent drainage and erosion control, both of which are good for the environment. These materials use a porous design that is both durable enough to handle heavy traffic, yet porous enough to allow water and other liquids to flow freely right through it. You can also go with recycled porous asphalt or concrete, which is an eco-friendlier option.
4. Permeable Pavers
If you’re looking for the most eco-friendly paving solutions, permeable pavers are by far the best choice. They require no concrete or asphalt and use far less equipment in their production. Companies like TRUEGRID even go so far as to make sure to use 100% post-consumer recycled materials collected in the USA. Permeable pavers are plastic grids, molded from recycled plastic, are incredibly durable and are meant to be filled in with gravel, dirt, or grass.
These pavers are much more permeable than porous concrete, yet more cost effective, more durable, and much more easily installed. Unlike porous concrete or asphalt which require frequent maintenance to remain porous, plastic pavers are virtually maintenance free. For the most environmentally-friendly, green paving solutions, you could go with TRUEGRID PRO LITE pavers for residential and light commercial use for moderate traffic, pedestrian traffic, and/or bicycle traffic; or TRUEGRID PRO PLUS for commercial and industrial applications for heavy use and heavy load applications.
Despite being lightweight, these products are incredibly flexible and durable, able to hug the earth and withstand the weight of trucks and cars. TRUEGRID PRO LITE and PRO PLUS pavers are two of the best options when it comes to green alternatives for pavement because they work well for driveways, parking lots, grass or gravel overflow parking lots, fire lanes, sidewalks, and almost any other paving application you can think of.
Eco-Friendliness is a Priority, Not an Option
With more negative PR surrounding global warming and pollution than ever before, it’s never been more important for business owners and residential homeowners alike to make the switch to eco-friendly paving solutions. Doing so will not only help you lessen the negative impact you have on the environment, it will endear you to customers and friends, as well as keep you from violating any potential new laws or regulations regarding the paving or installation of parking lots and other paved areas.
There are plenty of options to choose from, and if you aren’t in absolute need of asphalt or concrete, you’d do well to go with permeable pavers like the type that TRUEGRID offers. Not only do these pavers produce less waste during their creation, they provide erosion control, drainage, and other benefits which will be of great use to you as well as Mother Nature.
Contact a specialist at TRUEGRID to discuss eco-friendly paving options.