Mother Earth Living

Got Snow? Alternatives for Snow Removal

Green your snow removal.
By Natural Home Staff
January/February 2005
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Three ways to cope with the white stuff in a green way:

1. ARM POWER. Shoveling by hand is the most eco-friendly choice, and it’s super exercise to boot. Care for your back by using an ergonomic shovel, lifting small loads, and stopping for frequent breaks. Remember: A driveway full of wet snow can weigh up to 1,725 pounds.

2. PLUG IT IN. Electric snowblowers don’t create air-polluting exhaust or require toxic fuels, and they’re quieter than gas-powered models. Keep in mind, however, that electricity production does pollute. Keep the electric cord away from the machine; if it’s severed, electrocution could result. Electric models: Toro and Snow Fox.

3. GAS UP. You’d have to drive seventy miles to match the emissions produced in one hour by gas snowblowers, which lack sufficient pollution controls. These smelly machines emit about a pound per hour of carbon monoxide (EPA). Gas spills are another problem. If you must use a gas model, choose one made after 1997 when modest EPA standards were established. Keep the engine tuned to improve fuel efficiency.

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