We did talk to a lot of people and read a lot of information before we decided to take the plunge with this one, and the fact is, alternatives to salt are precious few and even there we found a lot of controversy. Some say kitty litter is terrible and other recommend it wholeheartedly. Some recommend sand and then contradict themselves by pointing out that sand will track inside your home and create quite a mess. Ash seemed like a great choice before we found out that it can contain heavy metals that will eventually leach into the water supply. The only thing everyone seemed to agree with was that salt was evil, for the water, for the plants, for your pets and for animals that might come to lick it and get knocked over by cars. As well as for the environment in general. As you can image, it was quite a journey for us before we were confident of giving you some authentic nature friendly tips about keeping snow away from your driveway. Here they are.
1. Get a Workout
Yes, we know, we can hear you, but shoveling the snow is still the best way to remove it in an environment friendly manner. There are three ways to go about this. First, follow the age old advice and don’t think, don’t try, just do it! Two, pay the neighbor’s kid to do it for you. And three, get one of those new shovels with wheels called the Wovel. They simply plow through the snow using your bodyweight and purportedly remove three times as much snow as a normal shovel does with an equal amount of effort spent on it. Moreover, the manufacturers claim that these ‘wovels’ perform equally or better than even snow blowers but without the carbon footprint and the noise. Definitely worth a try, if you ask us.
2. Blow It Away
If you don’t trust newfangled stuff, get a snow blower. The lesser evil would be the electric blower. The gas operated ones make an infernal noise and create considerably more pollution.
3. What Lies Beneath
Lay down electric wires below the driveway and use them as you would an electric water heater. This is going to be a little costly, and not exactly nature friendly, either, but you use electricity all the time anyway, so why not for melting the ice, right? Bad argument, we know, and if you have a better solution that we have not already mentioned, we sure would like to hear about it.
And now we have run out of things to de-ice with, so we’ll just give a bit of advice on how not to break anything (in your body) when clearing the snow laden driveway.
4. Grip It Well
Two ways to do this: wear boots with proper traction and toehold, and scatter stuff on the surface for added traction. The ‘stuff’ can be anything from birdseed to what is being touted as the latest in environment friendly salt alternative: the eco-traction volcanic granules. Remember that everything you use will track indoors, and you alone, can decide exactly how much of what is best for your safety. However, avoid using anything that has urea in it unless you want to spend a hefty sum on organically fertilizing your lawn and adjacent areas once winter is over. Also, urea will not vaporize all at once and will tend to run off your driveway into he streets and elsewhere and then, mix with the water supply.
Finally, pay attention to how your driveway is constructed. The more permeable areas you have inside your boundary walls, the lesser ice formation will be found. On a concrete driveway, for example, the ice or snow may melt, but will freeze again because it has nowhere to run off to (although the pesky toxic matter like urea or salt will always find a way). Drainage does not help when drains are also frozen solid. Consult an architect to find out exactly what steps to take so that you have a lot of water permeable area around your home and particularly on your driveway. This is not only good for keeping the ice formation in check but it also helps to circulate the water inside your property so that everything from gardening to raising water by electric pumps becomes more eco-friendly.
Guest author bio: Bernard Naylor is a passionate blogger and writer. He likes blogging about Home & Garden, Health & Fitness, Online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC, & Lead generation.