GuelphToday received the following letter from Karen Rathwell regarding excessive use of road salt in the winter.
Our first snowfall came early and no doubt there were lots of smiles on faces when children woke up, but the smile on my face disappeared when I ventured downtown and saw firsthand the copious amount of salt on the doorsteps of RBC and BMO.
I appreciate businesses are anxious about citizens falling on slippery payment at their threshold, and looking for easy money by suing someone else for their
mishap, but drenching pavement in salt is not the answer.
We live in a groundwater city and need to protect this pristine resource along with our beautiful creeks and rivers. There are so many environmental concerns right now, assault on our Greenbelt, heat waves, species loss, soil degradation, drought, and flooding, but we still need to take time to rethink our overuse of winter salt.
This is something we can really do something about personally and locally. If you’re not sure if it's important, try drinking a glass of salt water! Perhaps we need to rethink the legislation for slip and fall litigation? Maybe we need to look more closely at what the responsibility of the individual should be?
If the streets and walkways are icy, citizens need to plan for it or possibly postpone the outing. Wearing a hat, boots, and thick winter coat only makes sense, as does wearing grippers on the bottom of boots or bringing a walking pole, cane or walker. Most importantly, for the frail and elderly, find a companion to help keep you steady.
This should not be the salt’s job! It’s impossible to salt everywhere anyone might step so planning to reduce your personal risk and protecting yourself if you should fall, need to play a bigger part.
Let’s stop pouring salt over our children’s future.
Karen Rathwell, Guelph