Here’s to Safer Streets
This time of the year always reminds me of just how insensitive some people can be. No matter how big – or small – the snowfall, road salt gets strewn along the sidewalk with wild abandon. Homeowners, storekeepers, city workers – it seems no one is immune from the impulse to attack winter by flinging huge fistfuls of the other white stuff at it.
When the snow melts down a bit, my dog and I are obliged to face a minefield of briny detritus. We sidestep the stiff mounds as best we can but, invariably, my dog gets salt on his paws, which causes him acute discomfort. Yes, I could force my baby into booties three times a day. It’s much easier, though, to get him to “walk it off” in the nearest snow drift. I wish I could do the same for my salt-stained boots and pant legs. I also wish I could apologize to the environment for all the trees and plants that will croak come spring, all the watersheds that will be ruined and all the fish that will die, thanks to over-salinization.
I know pet-friendly ice melters are a bit costlier than ordinary road salt. So when I see those tell-tale blue or green grains on the sidewalk, I breathe a little prayer of thanks to my more considerate neighbours and neighbourhood shops. I make a particular point to buy products from the latter.
Unfortunately, I can’t relax my guard once the weather changes for the better. Warmer months are when all the yahoos emerge to smash beer and liquor bottles on those same sidewalks that my dog and I walk down every day.