Paving Paths to Sustainable Connections

This week on Sea Change Radio, a more ecological solution for paving driveways and parking lots, and a social networking site specifically for people working to make the world a more sustainable place. Host Alex Wise‘s first guest is Dustin Glist from Invisible Structures, a company that creates paving solutions that process stormwater naturally, allowing water recapture, preventing erosion, and even allowing you to plant grass on a roof or driveway. We ask him about what problems current paving solutions present and the practical uses of his company’s technology. After that, we hear from Martin Chilcott, the founder and CEO of 2Degrees Network, a social networking website that connects green innovators from all over the world. We talk about how this site, which finally taps the power of social networking for the green movement, might be a “game changer” in the shift to environmental sustainability.

The United States alone has about 2.4 million miles of road surfaced with asphalt, not to mention airfields and parking lots which are almost all paved with asphalt. So what’s wrong with that? Well, to start, conventional paving does nothing to prevent surface runoff, which is a serious cause of water quality problems. Non-porous concrete and asphalt can cause heavy soil erosion. Run-off water picks up gasoline, motor oil, heavy metals, trash and other pollutants from sidewalks, roadways and parking lots all of which just moves downhill until it hits a water source. A 2008 report by the United States National Research Council identified urban runoff as a leading source of water quality problems. Given the extensive area covered in asphalt, breakthrough solutions in this area can make a big difference.