Sustainable Design is Easier Than You Think!
I had the privilege recently of spending a few days on a resort in Mexico.
Sitting on the beach, watching the waves and watching visitors walk along the shore, stopping and picking up trash that had washed up on to the sand.
My, how times have changed and how thankful we should all be that they have.
The resort, as many others have, has made a conscious decision to “green” their facility and implement changes.
They have eliminated straws and all disposable cups, cutlery, and plates.
They have changed their light bulbs to LED and changed their laundry policies to put decisions into the guests’ hands such as the frequency of laundering towels and sheets.
They are reducing garbage by actively recycling and composting.
They are no longer offering plastic bags in their gift shops.
They are reducing carbon emissions by way of increasing their use of electric vehicles instead of other modes of transportation, and they are including more and more eco-friendly products and services. They are also including permeable surfaces wherever possible, even retrofitting areas by removing concrete to ensure more stormwater is controlled onsite, reducing flooding and the pollutants entering the ocean.
With social media and the ease of worldwide information sharing, we are all too aware of the impact our lifestyles have had on the Earth and on her inhabitants.
We see pictures of marine life cut open and full of plastic waste. Pictures of birds covered in oil and pictures of garbage barges on route to being incinerated.
The Earth has been struggling under pollution for decades and only since the recent push towards global efforts, including green infrastructure, low impact development, and sustainability such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is there truly hope.
Hope is sparked by this small Mexican resort and encouraged by the knowledge that they are not alone.
Across the globe, corporations, businesses, homeowners and everyone in between are self-motivated to publicly display their commitment to sustainability.
Clients are doing research before choosing products, companies, and services; commitment to sustainability is one of the most sought out characteristics.
Including sustainable products and services does not always come easy and often the question of budget enters the discussion.
Not all sustainable alternatives, including alternatives to asphalt in particular, are more costly than their traditional counterparts, and permeable paving is one such product.
Including systems such as the Ecoraster permeable paving grids is not only a sustainable decision, it will also positively affect your bottom line for many reasons:
- Cost competitive to, if not less expensive than commercial grade asphalt and concrete, as well as alternatives to asphalt
- Elimination of conventional drainage infrastructure
- Reduced maintenance cost
- Reduced winter salt usage
- Reduced repair costs
- Long life span of product
Additionally, by including permeable surfaces, you may be eligible for stormwater tax incentives or grants. Including permeable paving into your surface parking and driving areas will not only benefit your bottom line and your “sustainability quotient”, it is also easily visible and helps start the conversation from your clients’ first step out of their car onto the permeable surface.
If the little Mexican resort can take big steps towards sustainability, so can you!