Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 230 of our Green Year: Dealing With Ice

Yesterday we talked about dealing with the snow of the winter season, well there is another thing that we have to deal with and it comes in the form of frozen water. Ice is the bane of winter existence. While snow is nice and fluffy, ice is hard and slippery. Just this past weekend, a fresh shot of freezing rain fell and made everything slippery. Causing several accidents and problems for people.

At the Baird ranch, we have to deal with ice on our deck because when the dogs lay on the deck, they melt the snow under them, then when they get up to come inside or run around that freezes into hard ice. For one of our dogs, it is a problem because he hurt himself pretty bad coming up the stairs when he slipped on the ice. Another slip could cause serious problems. On top of that, there is the danger to us walking on the deck and around the ranch and slipping.

Rather than have to use salt on the ice, we are choosing other options. Salt can damage soil and it is just not good for the environment.
For most of the ice, we will be putting sand down. This does not get rid of the ice but it helps provide traction when walking on it. This will help us and the dogs. Now, sand can be bad for storm drains but our driveway is made up of sand, dirt and gravel, and we have no storm drains so it should be fine here.

Another option is the use the ash from the fireplace to help provide traction on the ice as well. This gets rid of the ash and it uses it for something other than throwing it in the garbage.

Lastly, we can use a shovel to break up the ice rather than use salt.

Ice can be dangerous but with some sand, ash and manual hard work, you can get rid of it and not worry about falling on your ass when you walk out on the deck.