A popular paving material, sandstone can be sourced from a variety places, be that locally sourced Yorkstone, or from further afield, such as India. The stone is praised for its various colours, be that red, yellow or brown.
- Indian sandstone is a popular choice, due to the fact it can be purchased relatively cheaply, especially compared to local UK stones. (ref) However, there are issues associated with Indian sandstone (and other stone) mining, as child labour can be involved in its production. (ref) The mines for sandstone in India can also contaminate groundwater, illegally dump materials and cause environmental issues due to transporting the stone to the UK, (ref) which emits CO2 into the air. Forest and vegetation cover are also removed to access the stone. (ref) There are thousands of mines in one province of India alone (15, 000 in Jodhpur, 2005). (ref) All of these perpetuate the issues above, and demonstrate the scale of Indian sandstone mining.
- Sandstone can be sourced locally, notable Yorkstone. (ref) Reducing the amount CO2 and energy required to transport it.
- It is a strong stone, but easier to cut than other stones such as granite, (ref) using less energy to produce.
- For paving, the stone is slip resistant. (ref)
- Sandstone can be recycled, although its slip resistant properties can be reduced from years of use. (ref)
- Some stone quarries have manufacturing plants near them to cut the stone etc. (ref) reducing the CO2 emitted by transportation.
Sandstone is a durable stone that is easy to cut. The stone can be sourced from all over the world, local sandstone is called Yorkstone, and whilst it may be expensive, it reduces the amount of energy and CO2 emissions it takes to get into garden. Transport impacts are also cut due to the fact that factories are usually located near the quarry. The stone is also able to be recycled which is important as this can reduce transport costs if sourced locally and can reduce the demand for new stone. Whilst Sandstone sourced locally may have a relatively small environmental impact, sources from further afield, such as India are problematic for both people and the environment, from the extraction aspect as well as the transportation aspect too. Sandstone can be third party certified helping ensure the sources of the stone are environmentally friendly. Some alternate paving stones may include Granite, Bricks or Porcelain, although each have other impacts that should be taken into consideration.