Greener Snow Removal
As we gear up for some more snow where I live in the Northeast, I wanted to discuss two things that people do to remove snow which are actually bad for the environment: salt and snow blowers.
Salt is bad for just about everything. It's bad for cars, it tears up the road causing potholes, it can kill plants and wildlife, and it can contaminate waterways. Sure, it's a cheap and easy solution, but it's just plain old bad for the planet. Most municipalities still use salt for their roadways, but you can minimize or stop using salt on your property.
Most deicing products are actually bad for the environment. Anything with the word chloride should be avoided.
So, what's a snowbound person to do? Most experts agree that elbow grease is the best way (the most effective and greenest) to rid your sidewalk of snow and ice. Shovel as soon as you can, shovel regularly over the course of a storm, use a broom to help clear sidewalks, and use an icebreaker if necessary. You can use bird seed, sand, or biodegradable cat litter on icy areas for extra traction. It might also be worth it to buy a sturdy pair of boots with good treads! If you still want to use salt, use sparingly and sweep it up on a dry day.
It might be tempting to just go and buy a snow blower. Hold your horses -- those are bad for the environment, too. Gas powered snow blowers are the worst because of all the pollutants they emit into the atmosphere. Electric snow blowers are better for the environment, because even though they use energy, they don't contribute to air pollution.
Shoveling is the greenest snow removal option, but if you need a little help shoveling, consider the Wovel. The Wovel is basically a shovel with a wheel. It's known to be effective and easier on your back. The Wovel doesn't emit fumes, uses zero energy, and is way easier, physically, than shoveling.
Keep warm and stay green during this next snowfall!