Jack Frost is probably nipping at your nose right about now. With temperatures plummeting and cold weather moving in, you may find yourself battling frost and ice. Instead of heading to the store to buy de-icers or antifreeze, consider adopting some of these green tips to keeping the cold and ice at bay.
The Greener De-Icer
Many people go for rock salt or store-bought de-icers when things get slippery. Unfortunately, rock salt (including rock salt based de-icers) and urea based de-icers are not environmentally friendly. These de-icers can cause toxic runoff that can kill plant life, destroy your lawn, and contaminate your soil. They can also cause your concrete to crack and contaminate water supplies nearby.
A better option is to use sand. Sand provides traction in slippery areas without the toxic side effects. If you want to actually melt the ice, use basic sodium chloride instead of rock salt. Your plants will still not like it; but it won’t produce toxic cyanide like it’s rock salt counterpart.
The Greener Anti-Freeze
Anti-freeze is a must-have in your vehicle, but there is one option that’s a little more environmentally friendly. When it comes to anti-freeze you typically have two choices: ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is incredibly toxic. In fact, it only takes 2 small ounces of ethylene glycol to kill a pet. Propylene glycol on the other hand does not. Propylene glycol is anything but Eco-friendly as it is petroleum-based, but it is far less toxic than its ethylene glycol counterpart.
Choosing propylene glycol over ethylene glycol is the first step to a more eco-friendly vehicle, but proper disposal of these toxic chemicals is equally as important. Recycling used anti-freeze in addition to the use of propylene glycol will ensure you are doing your best environmentally. Contact your local car dealership or auto repair shop to see if they offer anti-freeze recycling. You can also use resources at earth911.org to find a local anti-freeze recycling facility near you.
Keep Your Car Ice Free
It’s never fun to be running late and then realize your vehicle is covered in ice. Luckily there is a quick trick to making the process easier and much less painful. To prevent ice from covering your vehicles windows use this simple solution. Rub the inside of the glass with a saltwater-soaked sponge, then dry with a clean cloth. You won’t see anything left behind but there is actually a residue from the salt that will remain to ward off frost and even ice. If you struggle with extreme ice and cold try spraying a solution of three parts white vinegar and one part water on the outside of the glass, then wipe dry.
These are just a few easy ways to making your morning commutes and everyday winter pains a little more bearable. Do you utilize any of these tips to being greener and ice-free?