In my neighborhood I've been seeing more and more driveways that look like this:
Photo Credit: New York TimesAt first I just assumed that it was simply the new stylistic choice for modern home remodels, but I've recently learned that it's actually a smart and easy way for homeowners to make their home more eco-friendly!
Traditional driveways, which are usually just a mass of concrete, asphalt or stone, are not the most environmental choice. However, options for designing driveways that is both earth friendly, and uniquely designed are becoming more widely available.
By putting a Permeable Driveway into your home you are making a big difference to the environment around you. You'll eliminate storm water runoff that can carry toxic pollutants into the sewers, rainwater will be absorbed back in to the soil to feed trees and plants, and you'll be reducing the urban "heat island" effect by eliminating the reflection off masses of concrete and asphalt that are often responsible for making the climate around you warmer.
Your options for how to incorporate Permeable Driveway design are abundant. Here's a rundown of the two ideas I like most:
Concrete Pavers: Perhaps my favorite option is using concrete pavers and vegetation. For this type of design, concrete pavers are used to create a grid like pattern, and the spaces in between the pavers are planted with grass or other vegetation. It definitely creates an interesting focal point for any front yard.
Reinforced Grass Surface: New technologies have developed options in which your driveway can simply look like a continuation of your front lawn. By adding a product such as Grasspave2 under the area you would like for your driveway space you are able to make a space with great load bearing capabilities for your car, while not destroying the vegetation and root system underneath.
If you're looking for ways to make your home more green, ripping up your concrete and replacing it with some soft, lush vegetation may seem like an easy and incredibly appealing idea.