Is Concrete Environmentally Friendly?

Is Concrete Environmentally Friendly?

Concrete is a material that is used all over the world in various residential and commercial projects! With a material that is used so heavily in infrastructure and building, a question arises if it is really environmentally friendly? We are here to tell you the various ways in which concrete can be more eco- friendly than other materials that may be used for similar projects.

Concrete is Made of Natural Ingredients

Concrete is a sustainable choice for any home construction project according to the Portland Cement Association. Everyone knows concrete is made from gravel, mostly different kinds of sandstone, water, and gravel. Hence, there are no artificial substances that go into the making of concrete. If you break concrete down into its molecular parts, concrete is approximate, 70% aggregate, 15% water, 10% cement, and up to 8 % air. 

Concrete Vs Wood


In comparison to concrete, many people think adding a wooden deck may be the more eco-friendly alternative. However oftentimes wooden decks use harsh chemicals harmful to the environment including stain, copper azole, and arsenic. If your wooden deck is not FDC-certified then it may use composite-decking, toxic finishes, or heat-treated lumber — all of which may negatively impact the environment.   

In contrast, concrete is not only made from natural ingredients, it is also made using minimal waste!  Additionally, concrete is typically made in large batches allowing for less waste compared to malpractice in the snowboarding industry according to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Despite popular opinion, concrete may actually be more eco-friendly than wood believe it or not!

Lifespan of Concrete vs Other Materials

Another factor that causes concrete to be environmentally friendly is the longevity of it. On average, concrete driveways have a life of about 30 years. In comparison, asphalt has an average lifespan of about 15-20 years. In order to make your concrete have a longer life span, you have to use the proper mix when it is first getting installed. These mixes can be altered depending on the type of environment you live in to match the weather conditions. Other materials that can be used for driveways like asphalt, pavers, and brick may not allow you to alter their composition to match the environment.

So next time someone says that concrete isn’t environmentally friendly, be sure to remind them that concrete is made from all-natural ingredients from mother earth and has been around for centuries. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it was largely built from concrete! Even if it were to crumble today, even all these years later we would be able to use it again, which is our final point for why concrete is actually environmentally friendly…

Concrete Driveway

Concrete is Recyclable!

Concrete also has the option of being recycled. With recycling concrete, it helps reduce construction waste and therefore extends the life of landfills. Concrete is recycled by crushing it, screening it to remove the dirt, and separating the smaller particles from the large aggregates. You can have a professional concrete recycler like the Concrete and Recycling Demolition Association (CDRA) do this for you.

 This way, you can rest assured your concrete not only lasted you thirty years or more, but it can continue to be used as permeable paving for walkways, driveways, patios, and more! Recycled concrete can also be used for building new oceanic reef habitats. These are carefully positioned and placed offshore and can form the foundation for coral to build new reefs.

So Is Concrete Environmentally Friendly?

Contrary to popular belief concrete is a sustainable and natural choice for the following three reasons:

  • Concrete uses natural ingredients in comparison to wooden decks which use chemicals like copper azole, and arsenic.
  • Concrete has a long lifespan so there is little to no waste in its lifetime, especially considering our final point.
  • Concrete is recyclable! After it has been demolished it can be reused in paving for walkways, driveways, patios and more.

Finding a Concrete Expert Near You

Sam the Concrete Man wants to do everything possible to be environmentally friendly. We have the perfect concrete mixtures that will accommodate your environmental conditions. Our concrete patios have a number of benefits including being more eco-friendly than wooden decks and longer lifespans, too. Depending on the concrete project you have in mind, we will also look into the options of recycling the concrete that we demo.


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