I recently saw a great video from one of my favorite permaculturists regarding the benefits of wood chip driveways. Having a wood chip driveway can be considered unorthodox; some of you reading this may have never seen one in real life before! However, I can assure you that wood chip driveways are a great alternative to traditionally-paved driveways. If you’re ever in the market for a new driveway, I would suggest looking into one made of wood chips.
While it is true that wood chip driveways aren’t as “durable” as those made of asphalt or gravel (you will need to replace the wood chips more often, especially after a rainy season), wood chips do add nutrients to the soil. In essence, a wood chip driveway is a healthier driveway!
In landscaping, wood chips are often laid down – either by themselves or as part of a larger mulch mix – in an effort to prevent the growth of weeds. Naturally, this rings true for wood chip driveways as well. Similarly, wood chips help reduce soil compaction, wherever they’re laid down. This will come in handy for any car eventually parked in the driveway. When the soil isn’t compacted, it is easier for worms and plants to survive.
If you’re not convinced by the environmental benefits of a wood chip driveway, consider a wood chip driveway for its visual beauty. The wood chips compliment a novel, rustic aesthetic quite well, particularly in rural areas. The chips darken during a wet, rainy period, while they lighten up as they dry. Stylistically speaking, what more could one ask for?
Don’t count out wood chip driveways. They are a sustainable (and, in fact, regenerative) choice for cars and people everywhere.
Written by Dax Emerson, Class of 2021
Photo Credits: Ananth Pai on Unsplash