Free Wood Chips – Mulch This

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

January 17, 2009

If we really want to consider all aspects of sustainability, we must consider our economic contributions.  I’ve been thinking green for many years, and now is the time (more than ever) to continue to refine how I act green.

So, if for example, natural systems should produce and decompose to produce again, then we need to be thinking very locally.  If mulching is important in gardening, then what better source than truly local – mulch from your neighborhood or your own yard.

The City of Portland was trimming tree branches near electrical wires this week, and we saw the sign, “Free Wood Chips.”  So, we told the gentlemen we would like to take them up on the offer.  Friday, 10 cubic yards of wood chips were dropped on our driveway, the same spot that hosted 4 cubic yards of screened dirt three months ago.  Being able to sieze opportunities like this is crucial when thinking about going green.  How can we use what we have?  What options are within our reach that won’t cost us out of pocket anything?  Not only have we not paid for these, I’m comparing this to all the $3.50 bags of cedar-bark mulch we purchased from Lowe’s last summer; but we also got them delivered for free too!  Just think about it.


  1. Jacq

    Do you know where i should look to see where I can get free wood chips and mulch in my town? We are looking to fill our preschool playground with as many as donated wood chips/mulch we can dig up! I live in Sacramento.

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