Pickles. Are they the solution to environmental sustainability? They might just be the solution to an environmental hazard spreading across Ontario, road salt. As the cold creeps back into the air, and the days get shorter, the inevitable freeze is upon us. That means finding solutions to the frozen, snow-covered roads that await. Road salt has been the common answer to this problem, but pickle brine might be a replacement.
Pickle brine has come into conversation as a more environmentally conscious road salt alternative. Though, why do we need an alternative, is road salt really that bad? In short yes, it’s a tool with a time limit. The environmentally conscious among us have brought up questions surrounding the long-term impact of road salt. When we use road salt to clear roads some of that salt ends up entering the water table, effecting the delicate balance of the adjacent ecosystems, potentially harming local wildlife. Salt can buildup in the environment, turning a short-term solution into a long-term problem. This buildup isn’t just threatening to the environment, but can harm the quality of our drinking water. So how does pickle brine help?
Fundamentally pickle brine is still salt, it’s the application that is different. Road salt can bounce off the road while being spread; this can lead to over salting. Pickle brine can be spread in a more controlled way by spraying the liquid directly on the road, reducing the amount needed. This minor change could help protect local waters ways, while keeping roads clear. Food by-products, like pickle brine, provide some of the best alternatives to common rock salt. As a plentiful sources of reused material, it’s an effective resource to improve winter road safety. While protecting the water table and local ecosystems for the future at the same time.
Winter road safety isn’t only about how well the roads are cleared though. Maintaining your vehicle for winter conditions is the best precaution to icy roads. Consider winter tires and make sure your vehicle has been inspected recently to assure you won’t have any issues this winter.