So far so good this Winter

We have been lucky so far this winter and had a small amount of snow.  At some point snow will be here. How can you prepare for the snow so that you are safe around your house and in your car?  One way to prepare your car is to have an emergency kit in your car.  Emergency kits are easy to prepare and can make a big difference.  Some simple items to include are a flashlight, phone car charger, pen and notepad, jumper cables, hats, gloves, and a blanket.  If you want a little bigger and safer kit, including items such as tools, a foldable shovel, first aid kit, fix a flat,portable air compressor, and safety absorbent would be your next step.  If you do not have safety absorbent, kitty litter can also help you get traction on ice.  Your walks and driveways are another area of possible danger during winter months.  One way to remove snow and ice is manually with a shovel.  Just make sure you use proper shoveling technique and safety procedures.  Salt can be used and is a popular method of de-icing.  The issue with salting is that it can cause damage to car, fabrics, carpet, plants, grass, and even pets paws.  You can look for de-icers that are safe for pets and easier on your driveway.  Organic salt free de-icers are available but more expensive than regular salt.  Urea is an alternative safe for pets but dangerous for grass and plants.  Alfalfa meal could be the answer to your de-icing needs.  It is natural, can de-ice, and is grainy so it can help with traction.  Another possibility is sugar beet juice.  Sugar Beet Juice is used by some municipalities.  Sugar beet juice also has a freezing point of negative 20 degrees Celsius.  Finally in a pinch coffee grinds can be effective.  We will continue to look at ways to make winter a little easier on your through the upcoming weeks.