The Benefits of Using Limestone & Lime on the Environment

Benefits of Using Limestone

Limestone is a natural, non-toxic and chemical free material by nature and is among the best environmentally friendly materials you can use.

How is Limestone Formed?

First of all it is important to understand how Limestone is formed, in order to fully understand how it can be beneficial for the environment as a building material. 

Roughly 15% of the sedimentary crust of the Earth is made up of the sedimentary rock limestone. The mineral calcite (calcium carbonate, CaCO3) makes up the majority of limestone, approximately 95% of it. Limestone contains calcite, which is created by marine species that secrete shells or whose coral reef-building calcium carbonate skeletons.

When an organism dies, the shell and bones are broken down by the waves and drop to the ocean floor to be compressed over thousands of years and produce limestone under the pressure of the ocean.

Although limestone is a naturally occurring substance, it is regarded as a non-renewable resource since it takes far longer to develop than it does for humans to consume it.

Generally speaking, shallow, calm, and warm sea waters are where limestone forms.

Between 30 degrees North Latitude and 30 degrees South Latitude on the globe, limestone clusters can be found. These formations can be found in the Gulf of Mexico, the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea. We have a number of local deposits, here too in the UK, mainly towards the southern parts of the British Isles.

In caves where water penetrates through the floor, limestone also forms by evaporation.

The calcium carbonate dissolves and deposits itself on the cave’s wall and ceiling.

The size of these deposits increases over time, and they can extend into the cave’s deepest chambers.

How is Limestone Good for the Environment?

Limestone is one of the best materials to use in construction, especially for mortars, plasters and breathable paints. Even more so if you are trying to maintain your own green agenda. We’ll tell you why.

Sourced Locally

As we know, limestone is a type of sedimentary rock created by the build up of coral and shell fragments and other marine organism skeletons. The majority of the limestone used in the UK comes from the southern portion of the British Isles, but there are also quarries in Cumbria, North Yorkshire, and Lincolnshire.

With such an abundance of this material available locally, it is generally much cheaper in terms of CO2 emissions, because it isn’t imported and transported thousands of miles across the globe. 

Non toxic, chemical free and 100% natural

Because limestone is a naturally occurring material it doesn’t contain any chemicals and is non toxic, meaning the damage to the environment is next to nothing. There really aren’t many other materials in construction that can boast that kind of green credentials. 


To summarise, limestone and its derivatives such as lime can be an excellent environmentally friendly building material. It ticks all the boxes:

  • 100% naturally formed
  • Non-toxic
  • Chemical free
  • Local carbon footprint

If you’re interested in using environmentally friendly lime-based products for a project you have planned, we have a number of options available for mortars, plasters and breathable paints on our online store, or feel free to go to our contact page and drop us a message with your requirements.