Use hand tools for snow removal. Snow blowers are often powered by fossil fuels, which produce harmful emissions. Removing snow with shovels, brooms, and other hand tools is better for the environment. If you do not feel comfortable shoveling show, consider hiring a snow removal service or a neighborhood teen to do it.
Break out your sweaters. During the height of the energy crisis in the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter told Americans to "lower your thermostat to 68° and don a sweater." While everyone should set their thermostats according to their comfort needs, it is a good idea to lower them a few degrees when you are asleep or out of the house. A programmable thermostat can make this easy. Through our online store, National Grid offers Massachusetts residential gas heating customers a $25 discount on 7-day programmable thermostats and a $100 discount on Wi-Fi programmable thermostats.
Use non-toxic de-icers. Commonly used de-icers such as rock salt are made from chemicals that can become surface and groundwater pollutants that are harmful to plants, animals, and the environment. Consider using non-toxic de-icing substances such as clay cat litter, sand, or fireplace/stove ash to avoid hazardous chemical waste.
Save wood fire ashes for your garden. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, save the ashes and mix them into your compost heap to create a valuable soil additive that provides nutrients to your garden.
Take advantage of the sun. On sunny winter days, open the curtains and let in the sunlight. This will help to warm your home and reduce the need for heat from your furnace or boiler.
Close the recycling loop. Many articles of winter clothing, including jackets, scarves, gloves, and boots, are now being made from recycled materials. In fact, most fleece products are made from recycled plastic soda bottles. Moreover, some clothing and shoe manufacturers are using recycled cotton scraps and rubber tires to make their products. Keep this in mind when shopping for new winter clothing.