Snowed In – going green in winter weather
This post originally appeared on the JustGreen Community website.
This winter season, schoolchildren everywhere are performing snow dances and going to bed with their PJ’s on inside out, in eager anticipation of a coveted snow day. Parents, however, often have icier feelings towards winter weather. The idea of a snowstorm – and worse yet, ice – is enough to make most of us cringe.
When the skies turn white, there are a number of ways to stay green – at least, in the eco-friendly sense!
First and foremost, be prepared. Stock up on organic candles and non-perishables in case of a power outage, and be sure that your home is properly insulated/winterized. Purchase adequate tires for your car (or, better yet, bicycle) before any big storm.
Traditional methods of dealing with slick driveways, such as rock salt, can be damaging to the local ecosystem. Excess salt leaks into soil, grass, and plants; and also creates residues that are harmful to pets/wildlife. Some salts even contain contaminants such as heavy metals, which eventually wind up in water supplies.
Shoveling for snow removal creates almost no emissions (not to mention, a form of exercise for those with “working out” on their New Year’s Resolutions list). Sand and birdseed also provide effective and less environmentally damaging traction for drive and walkways.
Stay indoors and cuddle up:
When worst comes to worst, suck it up and stay inside. Keep doors/windows closed to conserve heat and keep doors to unused rooms shut tight. Light some candles, and enjoy the peace and quiet. A night of Monopoly and charades with the family never hurt anyone!
Unless absolutely necessary, stay off the roads when winter weather hits. You’ll save yourself the risk and the headache, and you’ll save the environment much more in the form of reduced carbon emissions.