It’s hard to imagine that snow and ice are coming soon to many parts of the country when temperatures in the Northeast have been approaching 60 degrees in December. There’s no escaping the winter months, which are just around the corner, along with frigid temperatures and slippery conditions.
As snow and ice start to accumulate it’s important to find a way to keep slippery conditions under control.
This time of year conventional snow and ice removal products line the aisles of local hardware stores. Unfortunately, many of those products contain harsh chemicals, including sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium salts. We end up tracking these chemicals into our home on the bottom of our shoes and boots. This puts our pets at risk, because ingesting large amounts of sodium chloride (a common ingredient in ice melting products) can be lethal to dogs. As the snow and ice begin to melt, the chemicals make their way into our waterways, placing plants and wildlife at risk.
Here are a few eco-friendly tips to remove snow and ice this winter.
Find a quality shovel, and shovel often.
Use those muscles and an ice-breaker to break up the ice. Try to remove as much ice and snow as you can without the use of an ice melting product. Find a quality shovel that will help keep you from injuring your back. Start shoveling early before the snow turns to ice.
Use sand sparingly for traction.
Use sand if traction is all that is needed. Sand isn’t recommended unless necessary, since it can clog sewers and lower air quality in areas that use a lot of it. It can also ruin hardwood floors if tracked inside.
Find an eco-friendly ice melt product.
Read the labels before purchasing an ice melt product at the store. Find a product that contains ingredients that are safe for you, your family, and your pets. Over the years, more and more non-toxic ice melting products have made their way onto shelves in the stores.
Don’t use salt.
There’s no question that salt will melt the ice, but it can cause more harm than good. Salt can leach heavy metals, which can end up in our water supply. Salt can also hurt our pets if it gets lodged in their paws or ingested. It can damage our cars and kill our grass and plants. As the ice and snow start to melt, the salt ends up making its way into our waterways and can wreak havoc.
If ice buildup is getting to you this winter, take the time to find a safer alternative. There are plenty out there, it just takes a bit of effort to find a product that meets your needs.