8 Eco-Friendly Driveway Materials for a Eye-Catching and Environmentally-Functional Driveway

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Crafting an eco-friendly driveway is a great way to participate in sustainable, environmentally-conscious construction while also actually improving your driveway situation. Whether for residential or commercial applications, refitting your driveway or crafting a new one with eco-friendly materials is a value addition packed with functional benefits as well.

Problems with Traditional Driveway Materials

Asphalt and concrete are and have been the traditional driveway material for a long time. However, they are unfortunately unsustainable and cause issues with the water runoff they produce.

Unsustainability of Concrete and Asphalt

On the one hand, concrete has a tendency to last longer than most materials, but the process to create it is energy-intensive and produces a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The same goes for the production for asphalt driveways, albeit there is a product of fossil fuels instead. While asphalt can be reused and mixed into new asphalt mixes, the whole process may not make sense for all applications if the goal is to be eco-friendly.

The fact remains that concrete is incredibly useful, and within construction, its net benefit remains worthwhile. The same is true for asphalt and its usage on 10s of thousands of miles of roadways that connect our modern world. However, with that said, when it comes to driveways—commercial and residential—where designs and aesthetics matter most, it makes more sense to utilize other, most sustainable materials to propel your sustainable image further.

Ground Water Runoff

This may seem like a non-issue, and may not have even factored into your equation for which material to select for a driveway, but groundwater runoff causes an enormous number of problems for the environment.

For starters, the running of groundwater causes the ground to erode—an ancient process of Earth’s surface. And while erosion is perhaps nature’s greatest artist, crafting magnificent structures like the Grand Canyon and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, in commercial and residential areas—urban or otherwise—erosion degrades the landscape and infrastructure.

While not immediately destructive, erosion will create long-term problems that will have to be solved. The solution? More labor, energy, and new materials—the opposite of eco-friendly options.

A better solution would be to avoid groundwater runnoff altogether. Because asphalt and concrete are not porous, groundwater cannot penetrate through the materials and, thus, cause erosion.

In addition to erosion, groundwater runoff—especially in urban settings—will pick up and carry contaminants that will be carried off to impart further harm to landscaping and enter the water supply where water treatment facilities will need to expend more energy to clean the water.

8 Materials for an Eco-Friendly Driveway

1. Grass Driveway Pavers

Pros: Promotes natural drainage, reduces heat island effect, enhances biodiversity, and is visually appealing.

Cons: Regular maintenance required and may not withstand heavy traffic.

2. Recycled Asphalt

Pros: Utilizes recycled materials, cost-effective, durable, and reduces demand for new resources.

Cons: Limited availability and may require periodic maintenance and resealing.

3. Recycled Concrete

Pros: Reduces waste, utilizes recycled materials, durable, and cost-effective.

Cons: May not be as visually appealing and a potential for uneven surfaces.

4. Gravel with Stabilization Grids

Pros: Allows water penetration, reduces erosion, and is easy to install and maintain.

Cons: May require periodic re-leveling and not suitable for all climates.

5. Rubber Driveway Tiles

Pros: Utilizes recycled rubber, slip-resistant, cushioning effect, and repurposes waste.

Cons: Limited design options, may fade over time, and not suitable for all climates.

6. Natural Stone

Pros: Durable, long-lasting, and minimizes environmental impact if sourced responsibly.

Cons: Expensive, may require professional installation, and limited availability in some regions.

7. Reclaimed Brick

Pros: Uses recycled materials, adds character, and offers durability.

Cons: Limited availability, potential for uneven surfaces, and may require periodic maintenance.

8. Aspire Permeable Pavers

Permeable paver systems are an amazing eco-driveway material option as they allow water to penetrate and seep into the soil rather than let it run off. This avoids erosion concerns and also performs an important function by recharging groundwater, with the soil acting as a filter before the water joins the water table.

Aspire Pavers are the ideal choice for an eco-driveway material as they offer a permeable paver system engineered with up to 95% recycled material. The lightweight pavers and patented grid system is made better by offering a rapid installation system, saving 40% of the time over traditional pavers. This saves on labor, further reducing environmental impact. The pavers are also scratch resistant and will not crack like most concrete, so the paver surface will last beautifully for years to come.

Use Aspire Pavers For a True Eco-Friendly Driveway

Aspire Pavers seek to offer just as durable and aesthetically-pleasing a product as any other option while also truly adhering to sustainability goals by crafting the pavers from almost entirely recycled materials and making the installation a low labor demanding affair. Paired with the permeable paver concept to significantly reduce groundwater runnoff, Aspire Pavers are the perfect solution for a true eco-driveway.

Contact our team today to answer any additional question you might have and explore the many options we have for your unique eco-driveway build.