Winter is a hazardous time on the roads but it can also be dangerous in your own yard. Icy steps, sidewalks and driveways create a dangerous environment for entering and exiting your home. One slip and fall may result in surgery, lost time from work and permanent physical injury. However, deicing with harsh chemical agents or salt is bad for the environment. Instead, use green methods to deice your sidewalks and driveways this winter to keep yourself and the environment safe.
1. Use good, old-fashioned muscle – Get out the snow shovels and take the family out for an afternoon of shoveling snow. As soon as possible after the snow stops, grab the shovels, put on good boots with traction and bundle up. The key to removing snow and preventing ice build-up is to remove the snow quickly rather than allowing it to partial melt during the day and refreeze overnight. You get a great workout and it costs less than a gym membership.
2. Electric snow blower –If you cannot shovel snow for whatever reason, an electric snow blower is better than a gas-powered model. You use electricity but at least you do not contribute to noise pollution, air pollution and decrease fossil fuels as you do with a gas-powered snow blower.
3. Ecotraction – Earth Innovations introduced Ecotraction as a green alternative to salt or chemicals for deicing driveways and steps. According to their claims, Ecotraction is safe for children, pets and the environment and provides superior traction. In addition to being a green deicing agent, Ecotraction also helps your lawn long after winter leaves with its snow and ice.
4. IceClear – IceClear is a 100% organic, biodegradable product that does not contain any toxic materials or corrosive salts. IceClear prevents ice from bonding to driveways and sidewalks to make removing snow and ice easier. Apply before a winter storm to prevent ice from bonding to the surface or use after it snows to melt ice and snow.
5. Coffee grounds – I am not a big fan of using coffee grounds on ice and snow; however, my mother swears by it. She starts saving her grounds long before the first big snow to spread on her driveway and sidewalk. Even though the coffee grounds do not melt the ice and snow, they will provide traction and make snow shoveling easier.