Tag Archives: snow

Winter tips for avoiding slips!

As winter finally considers maybe starting here in Southern Ontario it is worth reminding ourselves, family and friends of some winter tips to maximize your enjoyment of the season and minimize the cost. Be sure to check out the links for extra tips!

Don’t overdo the salt, in fact you barely need any at all! Try to start by buying salt alternatives – encourage your local government to do the same! Often, like fertilizer on our lawn, we apply far more than is needed. Use a salt alternative, this link provides a wealth of information, including cost and benefits/harms of each: http://water.greenventure.ca/road-salts-alternatives

For your government, share some of these tips as to why they should consider alternatives – great for the longevity of infrastructure, city trees and landscapes as well as our waterways! Be sure to add-in that this must occur with improved policy, such as lower winter speed limits and stronger recommendation (or mandatory, depending) for use of winter ties: http://inhabitat.com/snow-melting-road-salt-wrecks-havoc-on-the-environment-infrastructure/

Don’t drive too fast! Best to take it slow and steady or, if you want a comfortable commute without the stress of whiteout roads, there is often a bus/train alternative waiting for you! More driving tips here: http://www.caasco.com/Auto/Auto-Maintenance/Winter-Driving-Guide-Tips.aspx

Do keep an emergency kit in your car at all times (not just winter) – this should include at minimum: flashlights and batteries, radio, blankets, charging cables, flare, first aid kit, window puncture, heat/cold pack and ideally some non-perishable food and a spare tire.

Do check on your friends, family and neighbours throughout the season, especially when a storm hits. Sticking together brings out the best in us, like when someone needs help shovelling their driveway, a charge for their car or heat/shelter/food if the power runs out. More tips for winter safety can be found here: http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/sfttps/tp201212-eng.aspx

Finally, DO keep a stockpile of hot chocolate (and your favourite toppings), it just makes winter awesome. Now back to enjoying the great winter season, time to get outdoors!

Canada & Winter – An unnecessary dichotomy.

To many new Canadians, seeing their first winter ever is a miracle to behold, it is a treasure. Appreciation is never higher then from those who need it most…

For farmers, winter is a blanket, a source of renewal and health and a fickle friend that can give and take away, just like any season.

Winter renews the groundwater, provides fresh life into our waterways and keeps the flow strong well into the spring. It helps keep pests in check, and directly sustains the lives of thousands of northern plants and animals – whether it be using the sea ice to hunt, cold waters to live or permafrost to grow within.

FWinter is a treasure, a rare, special season.or nature, winter is a precious gift. One of four equally valuable seasons in a cycle of life and death, preservation and consumption…All species in Canada depend on winter to some extent, it helps maintain balance both between species and between seasons.

Winter is ultimately the reason our country holds such a vast quantity of water – nearly all our lakes, ponds and wetlands can be traced to one of the grandest displays of winter in history – the ice age!

And yet…we are so disconnected today. Why does nearly everyone complain about winter? We try so hard to avoid it, salt it, not touch it, wish for it in the summer yet bemoan when it arrives. Even our forced connection to winter is unstable…we forget to use winter tires, wear fashionable clothes that don’t even insulate, pretty boats that make us slip and shovel our driveways all hunched over (bend with your knees!)!

What has happened to all the community, outdoor recreation and winter fun that we used to enjoy? We take advantage of what winter provides and sadly, very soon, it will just as easily be taken away.

We are losing winter, so much more than just a season.

Take a minute to appreciate that wonderful state of water falling outside – you should hope it keeps falling, because winter is not what is used to be, and it may not stick around much longer. As with the disruption of all other parts of our climate system, winter is becoming an increasing luxury – and should be treated as such: protected, preserved, enjoyed and understood.

Turn that indoor fear into some outdoor joy.

Go out and experience winter, here for a limited time. Thanks.