Stone is a nonrenewable resource; like fossil fuels. By definition, a nonrenewable resource is something that is being used at a faster rate than the rate at which it can regenerate. While stone can regenerate, it takes millions of years for the regeneration process to happen. We are using stone faster than the earth can create it.
Much like fossil fuel, stone is an essential and vital resource. How we can best preserve this resource is using it in the most efficient ways possible. Using thin stone, like the natural stone composite panels produced by Stone Panels, Inc., requires only a quarter of the amount of stone that traditional stone cladding systems require. To put this into perspective, could you imagine if your car only required a quarter of a tank of gas to go a full tank’s worth? Some of the most efficient cars on the road can’t accomplish this level of efficiency found with our StoneLite®!
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports that, “Approximately 1.45 million tons of dimension stone, valued at $294 million, was sold or used by U.S. producers in 2010.” And 2010 was a down year for production of dimensional stone! Going back over the past five years, the highest amount of dimensional stone produced in a given year was in 2007. In 2007, the USGS reports that 1.92 million tons of dimensional stone was sold or used by U.S. producers. These are astronomical statistics for use of a nonrenewable resource. In order to ensure this abundant resource remains abundant, it’s important to begin looking at alternatives to traditional solid stone systems, like natural stone composite panels that use only a fraction of the amount of stone.
The USGS found that the largest amount of dimension stone sold or used was limestone, at 34 percent. Specifically speaking regarding limestone, Geology.com paints a picture of why preserving stone as a natural resource is so crucial. “When an area of suitable and mineable rock is swallowed up by urban growth or when mining becomes prohibited by legislation or zoning, the result is called ‘resource sterilization.'” says Geology.com. “Limestone is a material of national importance, and resource sterilization can result in a longer haul at a higher cost from quarry to customer.”
No matter if you’re looking at preserving the nonrenewable resource of stone from a short-term or long-term perspective, it’s important to recognize an alternative product to dimensional stone that uses only 25 percent the amount of stone. StoneLite® panels can help save both cost and precious resources for future use.