Today, people worry about the quality of products and the environmental impact of goods. The greener the better, even when it comes to paving a patio. Brick pavers offer a variety of looks and are eco-friendly in more ways than people realize.
The Beauty of Brick Pavers
The look of a brick patio definitely tops a boring concrete one. Brick pavers enhance the overall look of your property and add value plus appeal when you’re selling your home. Pavers come in many colors, shapes, and sizes and complement the style of your home and your personal taste. You’ll also enjoy relaxing on your patio for many years, as bricks last longer and look better than alternative materials.
Bricks Go Green
The traditional way bricks harden is through coal-fired ovens. These ovens use a lot of energy and release tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Today, more bricks use recycled materials, reducing their negative impact on the environment. But even traditional bricks are environmentally friendly once fired. Bricks consist of non-organic material and thus have no carbon-based materials, so they don’t release toxic compounds into the air. Once the firing process ends, a brick becomes inert and non-damaging to the environment.
Brick pavers also help water runoff, whether through materials that absorb moisture or stylish holes and grooves that allow water to drain easily. The Save Water Brick uses recycled plastic bottles and rotted leaves to form beautiful and stylish bricks that drain water effectively.
Recycled bricks use a variety of materials. One type of brick uses hemp, lime, and water. These bricks absorb carbon dioxide through the limestone base. How about recycled glass bricks? These bricks don’t look like glass, but crushing glass bottles into sand makes them useable in both bricks and other construction materials. A special machine crushes the glass waste into sand and combines this with normal sand, making bricks of 70 percent waste product. These bricks look and feel like traditional brick pavers.
Sandstone brick, half the weight of clay or concrete, lays easily with one hand but is three times the size of traditional bricks. These pavers use less mortar and take a third of the time to lay as other bricks, saving you labor costs. Plus, you can even nail these bricks yet they look like masonry, are load-bearing, and rank alongside regular bricks in fire ratings.
Even newspaper has joined the act of recycled bricks. Two professors from India use the 15 percent of newspapers that don’t get recycled and other paper mill waste to fashion these pavers. Another green brick made from fly ash (the waste from coal plants) uses 90 percent less energy to manufacture, thus generating 90% less carbon dioxide than traditional brick firing methods. Other materials used to create bricks include sewage waste, recycled iron oxides, mineral tailings, and virgin ceramic scrap.
Using brick pavers not only gives you a beautiful and unique patio, it also helps the environment in many ways. Whether you choose bricks because of recycled materials, better water drainage, or because bricks are inert and non-toxic, know your patio is eco-friendly.