Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Green Tips For Snowy Days

The current winter is shaping up to be a harsh, bitter-cold winter in many areas of the United States and in most of Europe. Harsh winters with extra low temperatures often produce lots of snow. Here are a few tips for saving and conserving even when it's cold and snowy outside.
If you use a de-icer on your sidewalk or driveway, use products made from magnesium chloride instead of sodium chloride (salt) or calcium chloride. While salt stops working at 15 degrees above zero, magnesium chloride melts ice at temperatures as low as minus 17 degrees and is less damaging to concrete, to your car and to surrounding plants. You might also want to try replacing chemical de-icers with non-toxic alternatives such as clean clay cat litter, sand, or fireplace ash. Chemical de-icers are hazardous to pets, to trees and to shrubs. They can also pollute surface waters and groundwater.

Use electric snow removal products instead of gasoline-powered ones. No solution is perfect of course - electric products do consume energy after all, but they do not emit greenhouse gases. Of course, you can always opt for getting some healthy exercise and shovel snow manually using snow shovels!

Buy recycled winter gear. More and more winter clothing and gear, including jackets, scarves, gloves, and boots, are now made from recycled materials. When it’s time to buy new winter gear, make sure you support green manufacturers by buying their products.

Make snow sports greener. Trail grooming, ski lift operations and snowmaking are extremely energy-intensive and are harmful to natural resources and to wildlife. Try to choose ski resorts that are committed to reducing their effects on the environment – before you go, find out if they adhere to the National Ski Areas Association Sustainable Slopes Environment Charter. Consider cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing instead of downhill skiing, as these sports do not require graded slopes and ski lifts, and so have lower environmental impact.

We hope these Green tips have been helpful. Shoot us a reply if you have any questions, comments, or tips you would like to share! We get a lot of mail, but we read them all and are diligent about responding to as many as possible.

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