Have you ever considered the environmental issues involved with using salt to eliminate ice on your sidewalk or driveway? Have you wondered about eco-friendly alternatives? I was thinking about this recently as I was driving along the freeway. There was not much snow on the ground, but there were snowplows everywhere putting down salt. Everyone who has owned a vehicle in an icy state like Minnesota has seen the damage that this road salt can do to our cars…causing rust and decay; my husband refers to it as ‘cancer’ because of how fast it can spread on a car. It left me wondering what could be done that was more environmentally friendly.
The salt will end up in your soil and accumulate the same way that fertilizers do and make the soil more toxic and harder to grow plants in because:
- Salt makes it more difficult for plants to absorb and uptake water and nutrients from the soil
- Salts causes metals and other harmful chemicals to become soluble making them run off into water supplies
- Salt contributes to drinking water pollution
- Salt causes algae blooms in lakes which depletes the lake of oxygen and can kill off fish and wildlife
- Salt is not good for pets to walk on as it can burn their paws
- It corrodes your driveway and side walk
- Shovel your driveway as fast as you can when the snow falls. This will prevent ice from forming on your driveway and sidewalk eliminating the need for salt
- Use an electric snow blower because gas powered ones contribute to air and noise pollution
- Use sand and or birdseed as an alternative to salt. It won’t harm the environment and will provide just as good traction plus it will attract winter birds like cardinals
- Wear boots, the best way to prevent yourself from slipping on the ice is investing in a good pair of boots that will give you traction on the snow and ice.
So … what will you choose … to salt, or not to salt? I’d love to hear your eco-friendly ideas here!