Thursday, May 31, 2012

An Eco-Friendly... Driveway?

I think all homeowners have a list of property characteristics they would like to change. Our list includes the yellow wood siding, the carpeted kitchen (who does that?), and the gravel driveway. Or, it used to.

Recently I was doing some research to get a rough idea of what it might cost to get our driveway paved. Our driveway is in need of some serious attention, as it has weeds and brown patches in it. Rather than pay for a truck load of gravel and just postpone the problem, I figured we should bite the bullet and get it paved.

As an aside, those brown patches turn to mud in the winter. We've needed to call AAA twice to be towed out of our own driveway. "Model, color, and license plate, ma'am?" Are you serious? How many cars do you think are stuck in our driveway?!

Anyway, while I was wandering the internet, I discovered multiple sites with information on how to switch from asphalt to gravel. I was flummoxed. Who would possibly want a gravel driveway? Turns out, we do.

Gravel driveways (along with sand, wood chips, porous paving blocks, and even grass) make for a happier planet. They reduce erosion and run-off. Rain water settles naturally back into the water table, rather than requiring a trip through the sewage system. If you're on well water, a gravel driveway helps to keep the well full!

The new plan of action is to weed the driveway (sigh) and buy some more gravel.

But that carpeted kitchen is still on the hit list.


  1. Hey L&J,
    Just an unsolicited 2 cents...
    Were you thinking about something like these when you said porous pavers?

    That seems like a good lower-maintenance long-term solution (just mow right over 'em!), though I don't know if you'd like the aesthetic appeal of those vs. the gravel driveway.

    Hi from Oregon!


  2. Yeah, that's roughly what I was picturing. Aesthetically, I don't have a strong preference between the two, so we'll probably do some research about upkeep and long-term cost/benefits. Thanks for stopping by! :-)