Coconut Coir for Icy Paths

Reader Contribution by Celeste Longacre
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Winter can be tough. Snow, sleet, freezing rain and the leftovers from the weather can make it difficult to get around. Snow can be plowed and removed from the streets and sidewalks and sleet can often be shifted as well. But freezing rain makes a huge mess. If the weather stays cold, icy paths can become dangerous.

Salted sand is the traditional fix for slick situations. But this can stick to boots and wander into the house causing havoc with floors and rugs. And, if the weather warms above freezing, the sand sinks to the bottom leaving another slick surface when it re-freezes.

A better solution is coconut coir. It’s 100% organic, compostable, and utilizes a product that would be consigned to the discard pile otherwise. Big bags are available from garden and hardware stores for a reasonable price. The coir itself is fuzzy and light. If you keep it in the house, it will stay warm. Then, when dusted on the path, the ice will melt slightly and the coir will stick to it.

Its lightness also helps it to stay on top when the weather warms a bit. If a big puddle forms, it will fall to the bottom, but there are often days just a bit above freezing and the coir will stay in place.

It’s always nice to find things that will make winter a little bit easier. Tell your friends!

Celeste Longacre and her husband, Bob, have lived sustainably for more than 35 years. They grow almost all of their vegetables for the year and preserve them by freezing, canning, drying and using a home -built root cellar. Celeste ferments much of the couple’s produce and makes her own sauerkraut, kimchee, and fruit and beet kvass. She is the author of Celeste’s Garden Delights and writes a gardening blog for The Old Farmer’s Almanac. For more information, visit Celeste’s website, and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


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