Shovel More, Salt Less: Eco-Friendly Snow and Ice Management

Dec 21 2017

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Don’t want this to be you? Follow the tips below!

The winter season is in full force as we enter the new year. As the burden of snow and ice become a daily hassle, here are a few tips for making your snow and ice removal less damaging to our soil and water resources.

  1. Avoid chemical usage altogether and proactively remove snow as it falls. It provides for less back-breaking work after a heavy snowfall and will ameliorate ice issues before they even begin. This is the most environmentally friendly method since the only ingredient is good old fashioned elbow grease!
  2. Use a snow blower, preferably electric or battery powered before a gasoline powered blower.
  3. Consider tackling ice issues by adding traction to the sidewalks before applying a chemical. Non-clumping kitty litter, sand, and dried out coffee grounds are great options. Use kitty litter sparingly as it may alter the soil structure of lawns lining the sidewalk.
  4. If a chemical ice melt is necessary, be sure to read the ingredients rather than the sweeping claims advertised on the front of bags.
    • Most important, avoid sodium chloride. There are many salt-free options out there!
    • Consider the neighborhood dogs and find pet-friendly ice melt. If its qualified to be pet friendly, its also much better for our soil and water quality.
    • There is no such thing as a perfectly safe ice melting chemical, so do your best to avoid it altogether!

Watch this great video from DuPage County Stormwater management and learn all about snow and ice management and what you can do to protect our water resources during the winter.

Friendly reminder: while tempting, don’t let your kids eat snow! It essentially scrubs the air of toxins which are then absorbed into the snow that lands on the ground.

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