Posts tagged "snow"

What can I reuse or recycle to help get around in snowy weather?

Like yesterday’s mince pie case post, this one is also a little late in the season – but it’s only recently that I’ve started hearing about this stuff and apparently we’re getting some more snow this week anyway.

Here in West Yorkshire, we had the white stuff on the ground for nearly four weeks before it finally melted away at the weekend. I realise that’s nothing compared to many places around the world but for here, it’s remarkable. I think the longest I’ve ever seen snow stick around before was about four days and because of that, no one is prepared for snow here – we just take the opportunity to stay at home, eat Christmas leftovers and complain about the weather (which, to be fair, we do whatever the weather). Only one person on our street has a snow shovel and the council only gritted/cleared main roads so navigating through our side streets was slippery fun. No one has snow tyres/chains and also at least half the people we encountered don’t know how to drive in snow – they seemingly thought throwing as much power as they could at their spinning wheels would eventually solve the problem.

Because of our unpreparedness, people have been improvising. Rubber footwell mats are quite commonly used to provide emergency traction when wheels get stuck – and I’ve heard of other people keeping old carpet in their car to do the same thing. A friend of a friend heard you can use cat litter as a grit substitute but discovered that their type of cat litter just turned to a white paste and got trudged all through the house – so that’s not advised. Does the wood-based stuff work better though – or as an extension of that, sawdust?

What have you been reusing and recycling to make getting around a little easier during the snowy weather? What works? What doesn’t? What about for other forms of transport such as bikes or even just walking? Anything to help improve grip?

How can I use up/reuse snow?

winter-houseTeehee, a bit of a silly one – the white stuff does have a tendency to bring out the excitable child in me but it’s kinda valid too…

For the last few days, we’ve a few inches of snow – as much as most of the UK ever gets really but since I grew up on a largely snow-free warm coast, I’m making the most of what we’ve got. It is, of course, an excellent entertainment source – snowballs, snowmen… I’ve also been watching it fall with lovestruck eyes, crunching about on it outside with glee and *repeatedly* commenting on how wonderful everywhere looks. Many many hours of free entertainment.

But what else is it good for? In rain-strapped places, it would probably be worth scooping it up from snow banks and putting it in a water barrel for its water content. You can also take advantage of its coolness – I remember when we were discussing saving energy someone said they pre-freeze items outside before putting them in the freezer, or turn their freezer off entirely, just using the big blue room and an insulator ice box for freezing stuff for a few days. Of course snow itself is a good insulator – is it possible to make a reverse hay box for freezing stuff and keeping it frozen?

Any other suggestions?