Are cobblestone or gravel walkways more eco friendly? Are cobblestone or gravel walkways more eco friendly?

The eco friendliness of cobblestone and gravel walkways depends primarily on how the material is produced. To truly calculate the fossil fuel inputs that go into landscaping materials, you have to factor in the use of fuel not only in production but also in the transport of the materials. For the sake of simplicity, only production-level inputs will be considered here.

Natural vs. Quarried Materials

Natural gravel, that is, pebble-sized rocks found in deposits, are far more eco friendly than gravel quarried form a pit. The industrial process of crushing large rocks into pebbles burns a lot of fuel and creates waste. The same is true for found vs. fabricated cobblestone. Compared to each other, natural gravel walkways are more eco friendly than fabricated cobblestone walkways but are about equal to using found cobblestone.  

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