Ethical Landscaping – Is Natural Paving the Right Choice?
This is a sponsored post.
Terraces and patios are an integral part of most people’s garden. We use our patios to enjoy summer BBQs and relax with a good book and a glass of chilled Chardonnay, so it is important that they look attractive. When it comes to designing a new terrace, there are many materials to choose from, but what not many people realize is that some choices of paving have a serious environmental impact.
There are many materials to choose from when you need to make hard landscaping choices. Concrete is cheap and cheerful, and can be used to cover large areas. Block paving is another popular choice, especially for driveways and paths. You may even decide to use gravel if you have a large, uneven area to cover. However, for a quality look, you can’t do much better than natural stone paving.
Natural Paving Stone – a Quality Choice
One of the most beautiful types of stone seen in modern gardens is natural stone. Because it is a natural product, stone quarried from the ground weathers beautifully and should last pretty much forever. It can be used for patios, pathways, walls and swimming pool surrounds. Natural stone comes in many different colours, so it can be matched to a wide variety of decorative schemes and unlike tiles, it improves with age. Natural stone is not the cheapest form of paving for patios and terraces, but if you want quality, the extra cost will be worth it – or so you think.
Unethically Sourced Natural Stone Paving
The sad truth is that natural stone is not always ethically sourced. Sandstone from India has become very popular in recent years because compared to stone quarried in the UK Indian sandstone is very competitively priced. But although Indian sandstone is very good quality and easily comparable to sandstone you might see in this country, the reason that it’s cheap is because it is sometimes quarried using child labour.
Investigations into child labour in the subcontinent have revealed that children as young as ten years old are sent to work in quarries. These children are born into abject poverty to desperately poor migrant families. Child labourers are forced to work in appalling conditions with no protective clothing, medical care, or even wages.
There are other costs associated with natural paving, too. The cost of transporting Indian sandstone halfway around the world is high in terms of energy; quarrying also leads to environmental damage, particularly if waste materials are illegally dumped and ground water is polluted.
Ethically Sourced Paving for Gardens
All forms of hard paving have an effect on the environment one way or another, but in the greater scheme of things, paving bought from a reputable supplier is your best bet. There is no denying that hard landscaping can really enhance a garden design by differentiating between different areas and creating interest using a variety of different textures. However, buying your hard landscaping materials from a good supplier such as Easy Pave* will mean you can enjoy a beautiful new garden with a clear conscience.
Want more ideas for your garden? Check out our Pinterest Board.
*This post is sponsored by an UK company, therefore it contains a link to an UK company. However, there are also many comparable companies in the US, simply one click away with a Google search.