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Safely and Naturally De-Ice Your Walkway

ICY STUFFIt is now the middle of January, two weeks into the new year and all across the country many people have been, and will continue to, deal with bitter cold weather and snowy/icy conditions. It’s the time of year when many of us get a chance to burn off those holiday pounds by shoveling or pushing a snow-blower. And, while shoveling and snow-blowing may get rid of the bulk of the snow in your driveway or on your walkways, they won’t take care of the ice which can be a slipping hazard. The answer to that problem is deicers. Unfortunately, the most common deicer (salt) can be hazardous to your pets, plants, and driveway/walkway.

Luckily, there are several safe and natural deicers that can handle the job of making your driveway/walkways slip-free. Listed below are a few examples of alternatives to salt which are safe, natural and effective.


“Kitty Litter”- If you happen to own a cat, or know someone who does, this is an effective way of keeping your footing on those icy surfaces. While kitty litter won’t actually melt the ice, it does create traction for a far less slippery surface.

“Coffee Grinds”- This effective no-slip solution can be found in just about any kitchen in the country. The dark colors of the coffee will also help absorb more heat and therefore help with the melting of the ice.

“Organic Salt-free Deicers”- If you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, salt-free organic deicers, work just as well as salt but won’t harm your pets or plants.

“Alfalfa Meal”- This may actually be the most effective all natural deicing solution. Not only will it create great traction and assist in melting the ice, it is also often used as a fertilizer, so no worries about it coming in contact with your plants.


While some of these may not work as quickly or effectively as salt, they are a safe and natural alternative.


Clean house and recycle your old electronics

Has that old VCR in the basement been collecting dust? It’s time to clean house and recycle your old electronics. Boulder County residents can get organized and recycle their old electronics this Saturday in Lafayette. Details are below:

Old school VCR

Recycle Responsibly and Protect Your Identity

A new Electronics Law will be taking effect on July 1, 2013.  Colorado residents will no longer be able to place certain electronic devices in their trash for disposal.  More information on Senate Bill 12-133.

Due to this new law, the Waste Reduction Advisory Committee (WRAC) and the Public Works Departments of:  the City of Lafayette, the City of Louisville and the Town of Erie; will be hosting an Electronics Recycling Collection Event.

Materials will be securely recycled by Metech Recycling– a certified e-Stewards recycler.  Over 95% of materials will be recycled for remanufacture.

City of Lafayette Public Works Electronics Recycling Collection Event

Open to all Boulder, Broomfield and Weld County Residents:
Saturday, January 17, 2015
9 am – 3 pm
City of Lafayette Service Center:
1700 Avalon Avenue, Lafayette, CO 80026

Recycling Fees:

TVs/Monitors up to 20″ $ 15.00 Small Electronics/Fax/DVD/Printers/Microwaves $ 2.00 – $5.00
TVs/Monitors larger than 20″ $ 25.00 Desktops/Laptops/Keyboards FREE
Cell Phones/PDAs/iPods

Cash or credit cards only

For a list of accepted items or questions please call Allyson Weaver at 720-315-2522

Cleaning Up the Messes of Winter

The cold, wet weather of winter also means, cold wet messes in your home. Every time you, a family member, or your pets come in from the winter streets and sidewalks, you are also dragging in whatever snow, sleet, salt or slush that may be present into your home as well. Luckily, this article from Enviro Maids, has tips on how handle those winter messes being brought into your home.

How to Handle Winter Messes

Snow, sleet, and ice not only make for slick road conditions, they can also cause quite the mess inside your home. Floors and carpetsHow to Handle Winter Messes, January 2015 usually take a beating this time of year largely due to family members walking through the house in snow-covered boots and tracking in rock salt and other melting materials. As we get ready to tackle another long New England winter, we’ll share our tips on how to keep the winter elements outdoors where they belong and out of your home.

Stop Moisture and Muck at the Door

While a “Welcome” mat is a great way to greet visitors and adds a warm touch to your home, you’ll want to store yours away during the winter months and replace it with one that’s more utilitarian. Look for rugs with firm bristles that guests can use to scrape the salt, dirt, pebbles, and grime from the soles of their shoes. Rugs made from coir — a natural fiber extracted from the husk of coconuts — is a popular material used in outdoor rugs and is an eco-friendly option. Once you have your heavy duty outdoor rug in place, you’ll want to add a super-absorbent rug in the entryway of your home. Look for ones made from cotton and microfiber to soak up any moisture.

Shoes Off, Slippers On

Get family members into the habit of taking their shoes and boots off immediately upon entering the home. Place a rubber-backed absorbent mat or a metal boot tray in your mud room or foyer where kids can deposit their footwear. The mat and tray help to collect any moisture that melts off footwear, avoiding a messy puddle on your floors. Have a basket or bin handy to keep everyone’s slippers within reach. What about house guests? Unless you’re very close to the person paying you a visit, you may feel awkward asking them to remove their shoes. In addition to the outdoor and indoor mat, on nasty weather days, lay a walking mat in the main entrance way. This extra-long, narrow mat (usually 10 feet long) extends into your home helping to remove any remaining residue.

Wet Outerwear

What kid doesn’t enjoy frolicking in the snow, especially when they’re treated to a day off from school? Between snowball fights, snowman building, and making snow angels, your young one’s jacket, pants, and clothing will likely get wet. Have a coat rack or hooks where each child can hang their coat, scarf, and gloves up to dry. If they have an easily accessible place to put their wet gear, they’ll less likely be tempted to drop them on the floor or on furniture.

Keep a Mop Handy

As much as you try to avoid tracking in snow, dirt, and moisture into your home, accidents are bound to happen. In addition to creating a slipping hazard, slick spots on your floor can damage certain types of flooring materials. Hardwood floors are especially vulnerable to winter damage. According to the, water and hardwood shouldn’t ever mix. Water that’s left for long periods of time can cause damage to hardwood floors, including warping and staining. Keep a mop handy so you can quickly remove any excess moisture from your floors. Another enemy of wood flooring is rock salt and sand. Rock salt is the mineral form of sodium chloride and when left on wood can leave spots and a white film on the surface. In addition, the abrasive texture of salt can cause tiny scratches in the wood finish. Vacuum or carefully sweep any salt, sand, or other winter debris immediately and wipe with a damp cloth to remove any traces of residue.

Clear Walkways and Steps

Before entertaining guests at your home, be sure to clear the walkway and steps of as much snow and ice as possible. Doing so will help create a safe surface for them to walk on, as well as help to keep the amount of slush and moisture they track into your home to a minimum.

Move/Renovate, the Green Way

Do you happen to be moving to a new place, or renovating your current home? If so, you probably need to remove or replace several items. Before you just throw out any of these items, take a look at some ways you can move/renovate the green way. In this article from Green Cleaning Magazine, you are given tips on how to do just that. Check it out, and make sure your next move or renovation is made with the environment in mind.


Moving or Remodeling? Clean Up Green

eco moving

It doesn’t matter if you are moving to a new house or you are just renovating your living area, there are always some possessions that need to be removed for good. Why not be environmentally conscious in this process?

Indeed, moving or renovating can be an overwhelming experience that involves a lot of planning and effort. Here are some tips for cleaning up green in the process.

Hire a Green Mover: If you are hiring a commercial moving comoany, choose a mover that offers eco-friendly solutions. Check ahead of time on their website to see if they have options for donation or recycling. Choose a trustworthy company that also has green ethics and responsible attitude toward the environment.

Divide and Conquer: If you decide to manage the process alone, consider a few important factors. Before going straight to the dump to dispose of your items, inspect the clutter. Divide the unnecessary into different categories:

1. Recycle: Decide what can be reused from other people. Household appliances usually have longer life. If they still work properly, at the moment you are replacing them, set these items aside. Clothes, books and furniture can also be added in to your donation list. Of course, they should be in good conditions.

2. Donate: Research charitable organizations or ask friends, family, and acquaintances if they could use the items. You probably know someone who might benefit from your unnecessary possessions.

3. Sell: Have you ever heard the popular saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” You can try and sell some of your items. Organize a garage sale. If you don’t have time and you want to quickly remove the clutter, visit a second-hand shop or offer them on an appropriate site on the internet, such as Craig’s List. An alternative to the online selling is the “freecycle” network. This is the fastest way to get rid of your junk, because everybody loves getting free stuff.

4. Trash: The final frontier.

Be sure that you label everything, especially if you are moving. Your home will be filled with boxes and it’s useful to be able to quickly identify their contents. Another useful sorting tip is to keep the items from one category in a separate room from the rest.

Lastly, the best way to have less to recycle is to stop purchasing things you don’t really need. Next time you go to the store you should not randomly buy stuff. In this way you will save money and you will preserve the environment.