Understanding Construction Work

Eco-Friendly Substitutes For 4 Common Landscape Materials

Your landscaping efforts should reflect your personality and priorities. So if you care about the environment, you should be able to put together a landscape that has minimal impact. Here are some ways to find eco-friendly substitutes for common landscaping materials.

1. Landscape fabric

When used in landscaping, plastic tends to break down into microplastics that contaminate the soil and water. Instead of typical landscape fabric made of plastic fibers, you can look for a more environmentally friendly option. 

For example, you can use a type of fabric called burlap that's not only biodegradable but also quite affordable. And since it has a similar thickness and texture to landscape fabric, you can typically install it the same way.

2. Asphalt driveway

Instead of using a typical asphalt material for driveways, walkways, and other hardscaping areas, you can look for a more eco-friendly material. Several less impactful options exist, such as:

  • Natural stone pavers, which avoid the chemicals used for asphalt
  • Porous asphalt, which reduces stormwater runoff
  • Gravel, which can be locally sourced, reduces runoff, and avoids chemicals

Your landscaping contractor can help you consider all the different options for eco-friendly hardscaped areas and decide which possibilities work best for your yard.

3. Landscape rock

Landscape rock is often used for mulches, french drains, and a variety of other applications around the yard and landscape. In some cases, you may be able to diminish the environmental impact of the landscape rock you use by choosing and sourcing the materials carefully. Some possibilities include:

  • Choosing a material made of recycled content (such as crushed brick)
  • Choosing a material sourced from a local area to reduce transportation emissions
  • Choosing a material that's lightweight (such as lava rock) to reduce transportation emissions

4. Bagged soil

If you need topsoil to fill in low areas and grade your lawn properly or garden soil to create raised beds, you may be tempted to simply buy bags of soil from the local gardening center. But you can improve your environmental impact by instead looking for local options. 

Often, you can find local topsoil that someone has leftover from a project (such as excavating a pond). Choosing this topsoil will help you avoid plastic bags, and greatly reduce emissions needed for transportation. For garden soil, you may be able to mix local topsoil with locally sourced compost or aged manure.

As you can see, many items typically used for landscaping can have an impact on the environment that you can lessen through careful planning and considering all your options. Sometimes you have to get creative to reduce your environmental impact. Get in touch with a landscaping materials supplier today to discuss your options.