I love my home. It is the perfect size for my family, has a lovely back yard, beautiful trees and wonderful neighbors. It was built in 1921, and has all the charm and quirks of a 90-year-old home. It is a work in progress, and as we finish one project another looms in front of us. My family moved in about seven months ago, and we have since replaced our back fence by reusing a fence that someone was tearing down, replaced some ugly vinyl in our back entryway with cork flooring, added two compost bins and installed a rain barrel. Now our sights are focused on the driveway.
PermaTurf recycled plastic
Easy-to-install PermaTurf panels can create the green driveway of your dreams.
The current driveway is gravel, which didn’t seem like too big of an issue when we moved in, but it has certainly become one. It is impossible to shovel snow off of it, and when it rains it’s a mucky mess. We are on the hunt for a sustainable driveway material that will be both friendly to the environment and not too hard on the wallet. I found one solution that has me completely mesmerized: a (literally) green driveway. I read an article about how an artist in Toronto used PermaTurf to construct a green driveway. The PermaTurf cells interlock to fill any sized space. They are made with 100% recycled polyethylene and look a little like green honeycombs. Basically, you fit the PermaTurf cells in place, fill them with dirt and plant grass seed in the dirt. The result is a green space that looks like an extension of your lawn that you can drive on, and it also allows natural drainage. This is especially important in our area because we are very prone to flooding in North Dakota. If we decide to go with this driveway option, it would be better for the environment because the PermaTurf driveway would allow rain to soak into the soil — reducing the heat island effect — and would support more plant life, which offsets carbon emissions. The traditional option, concrete, is problematic because paved surfaces play a big role in storm water pollution, where rainwater carries toxic urban pollutants to local streams and rivers, impacting water quality and river habitats. The cost was also a pleasant surprise. Based on the size of the driveway, the cost of materials would be roughly $1,500 if my family did the project ourselves. Franke James, the artist in Toronto, and her husband installed the driveway themselves in a few days. To have a concrete driveway installed would cost us around $2,500. I also wondered how this fabulous driveway would work with our snowy winters. I found out the manufacturer of PermaTurf is located in New Hampshire, an area that gets lots of snow, and they say they have many customers who regularly shovel their green driveways with no ill effects. I’m completely sold. Now I need to convince my husband…