Photo by Alec Salisbury Photography

Photo by Alec Salisbury Photography

The heat of summer has subsided and the apple orchards are open for business. Fall has finally arrived in New York.  Winter will be here before we know it, so it’s a good idea to start gearing up. It’s not easy being green, but here is a list of five things you should do before the frost hits.

1.Change your ceiling fans’ direction.

Virtually all ceiling fans have a toggle switch on them to change their direction. In the summer, they should spin counter clockwise, pushing air down. The switch reverses the direction so that in winter they pull the cooler air up, thereby pushing the warm air near the ceiling back down towards the floor. This will save you money on heating since you won’t have to turn up the heat quite as easy.

2. Use a seed spreader to throw ice melt on your sidewalk and driveway.

You will be out in the cold for less time. The seed spreader will disperse the ice melt more evenly, which in turn will mean you will use less ice melt. Ultimately this will save you money since you will not have to buy so much ice melt throughout the winter.

3.  Winterize your vehicle.Snow_Chain_Honda

Start by checking your air filter and fluid levels. Checking the tires for tread wear and proper inflation, and checking the condition of your windshield wipers. Ensuring your vehicle is ready for weather changes will reduce damage, which prevents waste from broken parts, and will keep you safe on the road. It is also advised to store a collapsible shovel, cat litter, and some sort of traction device in the event you get stuck.

4. Consider using non-toxic de-icing substance.

Such as clean clay cat litter, sand, or fireplace/stove ashes to prevent hazardous waste from chemicals. Chemical de-icers can be hazardous to your pets, your trees and shrubs, and the environment. Antifreeze that leak from car engines and chemical snow melters on driveways, roads, and runways can pollute surface waters and groundwater through the soil.

5.  Buy Rechargeable Batteries

Winter storms often cause power outages. Prevent waste by keeping rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones stored throughout your house with your flashlights. If you do use disposable batteries, prevent hazardous waste by buying batteries with low mercury content.