When you think of concrete, you may not think of the health of the environment, since concrete is usually associated with cities and parking lots that are anything but natural. However, concrete can actually be one of the most eco-friendly choices for any building or construction project, whether that's the frame of a new building or a countertop for your kitchen. If you need to decide on a material for any type of building, renovating, paving, or other such project, note why concrete can actually be the "greenest" of any choices available.
1. Easily available raw materials
Concrete is made from sand, gravel, and cement, and these materials are all readily available. You are not likely to hear about a shortage of sand or gravel the way you might hear about trees being cut down and deforestation. These materials are also very easy to collect and harvest; this is unlike materials like granite and other stones, which might require digging, drilling, and blasting to collect. These processes of harvesting other materials can be very harmful to the surrounding environment, but collecting sand and gravel is not.
2. Easy to manufacture
Concrete is very easy to manufacture; a concreter can mix up the materials mentioned above in any type of mixing truck, and homeowners can even mix concrete in a wheelbarrow. The ease of availability of raw materials and this ease of manufacturing concrete means that there is little trucking needed to deliver concrete to a building site. Materials like steel or certain stones may not be so easy to fabricate for a project, and having this job done at a metal stamping plant or other such facility means that the materials then need to be delivered to the jobsite. In turn, those delivery trucks are producing fumes and emissions when on the road; using concrete greatly reduces that pollution.
Concrete is a material that's very easy to recycle, without any toxic runoff or other pollutants that are sometimes the result of a recycling process. Typically, old concrete can just be broken into chunks or crushed and then mixed with new batches of concrete. This keeps the material out of landfills and cuts down on the need for using virgin materials. While the service life for concrete is often measured in decades, when it does eventually chip or crack or otherwise need replacing, this older material can be easily recycled, also making it one of the most eco-friendly materials available.
For more information, you may want to contact a local concrete recycling service.