Government has already put many restrictions to sand mining from rivers as it leads to many environment problems. Rules and regulations are high in states like Kerala. Due to scarcity of sand, its prices have increased considerably in the past few years. That is the main reason why all have started things about its alternatives. So, through this article let me find a few solutions to this problem.

M-Sand comes first

Scarcity of sand has already caused stoppage of many big constructions. As most of us still choose traditional methods for construction, only a few have come forward to experiment with alternative methods. Nowadays M-Sand is most popular. Wells and walls of courtyard have already been replaced by M-sand in many parts of our country.


What is M-Sand? It is powdered rock prepared using scientific methods and they are the best substitutes of river sand. Though its prize has seen a sudden increase in the past few days and is now above 90rs, its demand has also increased that proportion. Most recently we have heard news of adulteration of M-Sand too. If we purchase those products for our construction, it may affect the stability of the building. Only solution is to buy M-Sand of some good brand. Also, you should water the construction once you have used M-sand. Otherwise fissures and damages may occur.

Volcanic glass

Can you imagine lava to be used as a material for your constructions? It’s imported from South Africa and is widely used nowadays for constructions. It’s a processed form of lava crystals and can be used along with cement, as substitute of sand. You can use it for polishing both inner walls and outer walls of your home, as it blocks the inward flow of heat. Also, it never catches fire, thus protecting your building. It can be used by mixing cement, volcanic glass and water in required proportions and applying on walls. For 100 litre sack, its price exceeds 1500 rupees and using 100 litres you can plaster around 80 square feet surface.

Gypsum and Fly ash pieces

You can also concrete your building using gypsum pieces, no need to use sand. As mixture is made using cement and plaster of Paris, there is no need for river sand for your building. It has another advantage as well. When you use this naturally occurring mineral for your constructions, no need arises for plastering. Thus it reduces both your time and money.

Byproducts of thermal power plants known as fly ash can also be made use in constructions as alternative of river sand. If you use fly ash for constructing walls, no need for polishing it. Again, it saves both your money and time.

Ferro cement is cheap

If you use ferro cement as alternative of sand and if you make use of it, at least for concreting slabs, total sand needed for your construction can be reduced considerably.

What are other solutions?

If we see old homes, there are a large number of tiny rooms as number of family members was high. It was an era of joint families. Now everyone constructs home with a few bedrooms with enough space to walk through. Total number of members never exceeds 6 or 7 in most cases, if grand parents also live with the family. Actually this modern method of reducing total number of rooms has reduced the overall consumption of sand as well. Less in number of walls, less usage of sand too!

So, before constructing a building you should think several times, how many walls can be reduced. Also think that less in number of walls gives more free space to travel, for you as well as for sunlight and air.

Another solution is interlocking bricks. Use bricks in an artistic way and use some natural colours for finishing. When you avoid polishing of your brick wall, it reduces total consumption of sand too. You can reduce production cost also. If you construct the whole home this way, you can reduce usage of sand more than 50% for sure. It can reduce the high labour cost of polishing and finishing too!

Now it’s the era of contemporary homes and glass walls. Why can’t you think of constructing a few walls of your home with glass? If your living room is designed so and given a flower garden outside, it makes you feel close to nature. What about glass roofs that make you feel that you are sleeping in the lap of sky with moon and stars singing cradle songs?



I agree the fact that nothing can replace the natural effect and satisfaction of river sand; particularly when we are constructing our dream home. But very often, we need to adjust with situations too. In case you need to think about alternatives of sand due to its scarcity and high prize, you can surely choose any one of the above for your constructions.  

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