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.
Why salting your driveway and sidewalk isn’t 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!