Friday, December 19, 2008

A Tip From the Snowy Ranks

The mixed snow and ice we have been getting is resulting in some slippery and dangerous walking/driving conditions. Lots of people who shovel their walks will sprinkle a commercial de-icer on the cleared walks. Yes, they do a fairly good job of giving you safer footing when you walk on the cleared paths. But there is a downside to these de-icers. They contain mega amounts of sodium in them. For one thing, it is the sodium that is responsible for all those white markings you get on your boots, and which also discolor cement. For another, the sodium leaches into the ground, and if there are any types of plantings to the side of where you sprinkled the de-icer, you are damaging the plants. The third thing is that those de-icers are expensive.

A better alternative is using cat litter, the plainer and cheaper the better. The "cheap" stores sell large bags of the product for lots less then the commercial de-icers. Even the supermarkets are cheaper for the kitty litter. What are the advantages? First, you can see where you are sprinkling the litter so you get even coverage. Next, the litter is made to draw in and keep liquid, removing possible ice slicks before they happen. Third, the contents of the litter are not damaging to plants; most actually are beneficial, adding "good" substances to composting material. Fourth, the litter gives you better traction when you are walking on the shoveled walkways.

It's cheaper, it's safer, it's eco-friendly--what more can you ask of a product?


Anonymous said...

kitty litter also does not destroy concrete like salt does, but it makes such a big mess

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this... This is helpful.