For the East Coast and around much of the country, winter means the arrival of snow and ice-and lots of it. The removal of snow and ice from walkways and driveways is a job that most homeowners would love to hand off to someone else. However, many of us find shoveling well within our job description each time a new dumping of snow falls.
You can do your part to help protect the planet by following a few simple guidelines when removing snow and ice.
THE DON’Ts OF SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL
Don’t use salt to melt ice
Salt will melt the ice but……its not so eco-friendly.
- Salt can leach heavy metals which can end up in our water supplies
- Salt can hurt our pets if it gets lodged in their paws
- Salt residue prevents plants from absorbing moisture and nutrients. Salt kills our flowers and grass.
- Salt is corrosive and can damage cars, leading to reduced sustainability of vehicles.
- It will also damage bridges and any other concrete surfaces it comes in contact with.
- Salt run off from sidewalks and streets can increase salinity in local bodies of water, causing long-term damage.
Don’t use ash and kitty litter
- They don’t melt the ice. They do provide traction only on the surface of the snow.
- They can adversely affect vegetation and get into waterways.
- Can be messy once spring hits.
THE DO’S OF SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL
- Use an ergonomic shovel to protect your back from injury.
- Use an ice breaker and some muscle to chop up the ice.
- Shovel more and use sand less. Get out there and shovel early and often. Clear away as much snow and ice as possible and the need for anything additional will diminish.
- Use sand if traction is all that is needed. Use sparingly because it can clog up sewers and lower air quality in areas that use a lot of it. It can also ruin hardwood floors if tracked inside.
- Use an eco-friendly ice melt product when needed-but use sparingly. When choosing an environmentally friendly ice melt, take the time to read the ingredient list. Make sure all the ingredients are safe for you, your kids, your pets and the environment.
*Ingredient info: Magnesium chloride is salt, a safer and less corrosive salt than the more common sodium chloride, but still salt.
NOW BRING ON THE SNOW!
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