The Environmental Impact of Natural Stone Quarrying and How to Source Sustainable Options
May 15, 2023
Natural stone pavers are premium additions to the exterior landscape. They add life, vibrancy, and class to virtually any functional outdoor space. It is no wonder that residential and commercial projects are now garnering a growing preference for these materials.
However, on top of being both aesthetic and durable, these natural stone pavers also impact the environment in a positive way. They are sustainable building options that every environmentalist would favor over others. Let’s take a deeper look into the environmental impact of these materials and their quarrying.
Natural Stone Quarrying and Pavers
When it comes to construction, architecture, and landscaping, specialists have a wide variety of materials to choose from. However, among the many options, there is typically one type of building material that is good for health and the earth. This is a natural stone.
Natural stones, such as granite and travertine, take less water for processing, do not emit any VOCs, and are more durable compared to glass or concrete. On top of this, projects where these materials are used typically require minimal maintenance only.
With regards to how these materials are sourced, they are typically extracted from quarries, which come in two types. The first type of quarry is the open-pit one, which is also the most popular kind. The other types of quarries are situated beneath the ground.
Unlike mines, quarries for natural stone are easier to reclaim. This is because the industry does not utilize chemicals as part of its extraction processes. Hence, soil remediation may not be necessary.
Moreover, while there are several ways to concretely extract these stones, the process is generally delicate. With the advancement of technology, footprint reduction in recent years has also become possible. This has been done through pollution-preventive measures, resource conservation, and waste reduction. Not to mention, natural stone pavers, such as sandstone and limestone,
Overall, this just demonstrates the genuinely natural source of natural stone pavers. Unlike concrete and other materials, natural stone pavers are not man-made. Due to this nature of theirs, they make sure not to compromise their surrounding environment.
Natural Stone Pavers Are Sustainable Options
That being said, for those who are trying to source sustainable options for their outdoor landscaping projects, natural stone pavers might just be the answer. Aside from their natural source and sustainable quarrying, these materials also offer several eco-friendly benefits that make them the best fit for sustainable design. Here are some reasons why.
Natural stone pavers are more durable than other materials.
Natural stone pavers can be recycled.
Natural stone pavers play a role in reducing the carbon footprint.
Natural stone pavers are extremely easy to maintain.
Natural Stone Pavers Are More Durable Than Other Materials
Natural stones, such as slate and basalt, have existed for hundreds of thousands of years. It is these very materials that are used for natural stone pavers.
These pavers can be used for years and years. Because of their time-tested track record, they are undeniably durable and long-lasting materials. In fact, when they are added to functional outdoor spaces, such as an outdoor kitchen, they could remain functional and intact for as long as a whole century.
Though they are especially suitable for high-traffic areas, they can also withstand minimal usage in low-traffic areas, such as pool decks or patios. Even if they are not used frequently, they can still stand strong.
While durability may not seem related to sustainability, it is actually an important factor in order to maximize resources and minimize waste. With longer-lasting materials, there would be a reduced need to have frequent material replacements. This means that when materials last longer, the environment benefits more.
Natural Stone Pavers Can Be Recycled
Aside from being long-lasting, natural stone pavers can also be recycled in order to maximize their full lifespan and capacity. When recycled and repurposed, natural stone can be used in various applications. Limestone pavers, for one, could be recycled and applied to outdoor facades or even retaining walls.
By recycling these materials, resources required for material production can be reduced. Energy, water, and other resources can all be conserved. On top of this, the recyclable nature of these sources remarkably reduces the harmful effects on the general ecosystem and on resource supplies.
Natural Stone Pavers Can Play a Role in Reducing the Carbon Footprint
In terms of carbon footprint, natural stone pavers are known to have the lowest levels. This is due to their genuinely natural source. Because of this, such materials do not need to be processed in the same way as other materials.
On top of this, natural stone pavers also harbor the best insulation properties. Their thermal mass is known to be remarkable. Stone pavers, such as those made of granite, release at night the heat they absorb during the day. Because of this, the need for using heaters or air conditioning could be reduced. As a result, electricity bills and even the carbon footprint could be combated.
Natural Stone Pavers Are Extremely Easy to Maintain
Compared to other types of materials, natural stone pavers require significantly less maintenance. Simply sweeping off dirt and dust may suffice.
Moreover, due to their long-lasting nature, they do not get cracks frequently. However, in cases where cracks surface, repair and replacement is easier to facilitate, as the exact paver with cracks can easily be taken out and replaced.
On top of this, these materials also have natural stain resistance. Because of this, they do not peel or crack as time passes.
Choose Sustainable, Choose STONEarch.
Instead of using other flooring materials, choose to use sustainable natural stone pavers for your outdoor landscaping project. Aside from boosting the value’s curb appeal and offering a fresh and aesthetic makeover, these natural stone pavers also do wonders for the environment.
If you want to choose sustainable outdoor landscape design, choose STONEarch. Our variety of natural stone pavers will help you achieve sustainability, durability, and visual appeal.
Contact us for your next outdoor landscaping project.
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