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Sustainable Driveway Will Help Your Garden Grow

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A typical driveway not only takes up a lot of space, is boring, and sometimes an eyesore, if it’s paved with asphalt or concrete, it’s also a threat to the environment.

According to contributor and architect Jen Dalley, asphalt and concrete are substances that block water from being absorbed into the ground, which means the rainwater that falls from your roof and down through the gutters can only wash over the driveway collecting, as it flows, residual pesticides and petroleum that sit on the surface; the now extra-polluted water journeys to a street gutter where it will eventually empty into and contaminate local lakes and rivers.

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Pavement only lasts so long, too. writer Sarah Smith warns of the potential landfill overload torn up paved driveways will cause.

A much greener solution, according to Dalley, is to redirect stormwater into the Earth because “microorganisms in the soil are able to digest the pollutants, purifying the water on it path back into the aquifer.” Erosion of close by waterways would be lessened, too, if more water was redirected into the ground instead of letting the runoff continue on its path of destruction, adds Dalley.

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A driveway that is created or transformed into a permeable surface or “sustainable drainage system or SuDS,” not only helps the recharge of groundwater, it can be very pleasing to the eye and complement the look of your home, reports Dalley.

Smith outlines these permeable options:

  • Green paving is created by open concrete pavers, which allow for the growth of plants and grass inside the openings.
  • Porous paving is a relative of asphalt that retains the traditional appearance of asphalt but gives way to more water seeping through its surface because it is composed of a more porous blend.
  • Solid paving has the look of traditional paving, and it has built-in joints between the cement tiles. A plastic grid to let water slip through to the ground is placed beneath the tiles.

Ceramic pavers are another good option since they are a porous material, according to Dalley, who notes gravel is another substance worth considering, depending on the climate you live in, to create a greener driveway.

News Source: Houzz, Smart Cities Dive