January 11, 2011 by Ellen V
Eric and I do not salt our driveway or sidewalks.
We are good shovelers, most of the time. We (or mostly Eric, lately) keep up with the snow and keep our drive and our walkways clear. But Wisconsin is cold, and the remnants of precipitation stick to concrete and, often, turn to ice.
Which is where the salt comes in.
I don’t blame people who salt. In fact, when I’m running in the darkness of early morning, I actually really appreciate it. But I don’t appreciate what it does to our grass/plants/trees. And I especially don’t appreciate what it does to poor Dallas’ feet. Ouch!
Many of the non-salt chemicals made for breaking down or melting ice are a little better for the environment, but not much. Plus, many of them still hurt or burn pets’ paws. Sand or ash (Martha Stewart’s suggested alternative) provide some driveway traction, but they do nothing to actually melt ice and, as Eric eloquently reminded me, “Who picks that crap up? Your servants?” And again, they are natural alternatives, but still gum up water- and road-ways and, thus, aren’t much more eco-friendly.
Much to the dismay of our mail carrier, I’m afraid to say this household will continue to stick to our shovel and snow-blower, even if it means the walkways are a little slick every once in a while.