A tree native to mountainous regions from North America to Asia, cedar is known for its strong properties. There are many species of cedar but western red is commonly used for gardening purposes.
- Whilst native to areas outside of the UK, the species was introduced to Britain, planted in the UK for timber. British red cedar wood will be locally sourced and reduce emissions in terms of transport.
- Whilst some species of cedar are endanger, the western red cedar in Britain is not.
- The wood is durable and naturally resistant to fungi, due to natural preservatives.
- Cedar woods can be found FSC certified.
- The wood is usually reasonably priced.
- Imported red cedar tends to be more durable than locally sourced, but not by too much. Imports will also have more impact on the environment due to the amount they will travel.
- Cedar imported from non-certified sources and from abroad may have further environmental impacts, threatening habitats along with indigenous cultures.
This stone is a strong material which makes it good for paving, its colours range from white, pink or grey. The rock can be found all over the world, from Europe to China.
- Granite can be harvested from mountains, such as the Aravallis in India. These mountains harvested unsustainably, damaging the environment through deforestation, soil thinning and water redirection. (ref) A lot of these mines are illegal. (ref)
- It is hard to quarry due to its strength. (ref)
- Surface mining methods used in granite can cause the loss of vegetation and habitat, depletion of natural resources and contamination of surface water. (ref)
- It can be very expensive. (ref) Which leads to higher demands for cheaper imports, (ref) leading to more energy being required to transport the material, CO2 is released as a result. The UK is a major importer of granite from India, which produces half of granite exports worldwide. (ref) India has been known to have child labour. (ref)
- Granite is a very durable stone. (ref) This means it will not have to be replaced for a long time.
- Granite can be sourced locally. (ref) Which reduces the amount the stone needs to travel and reducing the CO2 released due to transport. It also means the stone adheres to the UK's regulations for mining.
- China, a large producer of granite, has been cracking down on its regulations, shutting down 1000 quarries in the Fujian province alone. Most of these were illegal, or causing major issues for the environment. (ref)
A very durable stone, Granite can be mined locally in the UK, however this is more expensive than some imports. Imports from abroad will need to be transported, and due to this energy and fuel will be needed, which will, most likely, emit a lot of CO2. Along with emission issues, there are environmental issues in Granite quarries abroad, notably India which has illegal mines, which contribute to the destruction of mountains, and child labour. However, stone and sourcing can be third party certified, which help ensure the sourcing of the stone is sustainable and environmentally friendly. Other stones like Sandstone or Marble are also very durable and may offer an alternate to Granite. Man-made Bricks can also offer a durable option.