There are two distinct schools of thought when it comes to snow. Some people are blinded by its magical sparkle. They only see it as a winter playground for skiing, sledding, building snowmen and making ice cream. The other group of people is full of haters who dread the slushy, cold moisture that lingers through the winter months. Wherever you fall in this spectrum, snow actually has some practical uses around the house, on the farm and for the environment. It might be hard to believe, but there are some real benefits to having measurable snowfall.
First of all, a blanket of snow is an effective insulator for plants and your house. It acts as a cover for plants, protecting them from winter’s freezing and thawing cycles. When temperatures fluctuate, it causes water in the soil to expand and contract. This results in damage to plant roots and bulbs. Snow also helps prevent plants from sprouting and growing too early. In fact, many gardeners cover their gardens in piles of snow. Homeowners use the same technique to keep their homes warm. If you heap it against your house or outdoor shed, it serves as an additional layer of insulation. This helps decrease heating costs and keeps your family comfortable throughout the winter.
Around the house hacks
When you’re piling snow against your house, create a box-like section for additional freezer space. Snow freezers create extra space to store food and keep it from spoiling. This is especially useful if your home loses power. Another practical way to use it around the house is to water plants with it. Collect buckets of snow and wait for them to melt indoors, then use the water for your household plants. This will reduce your water consumption, which will be reflected in a lower water bill.
For those of us who never got around to cleaning out the garage, it can make that task more manageable. If you scoop some snow on top of the grime and dirt covering your cement floor, the gross stuff will stick to it. This makes it easier to sweep dirt out of the garage. Taking advantage of the winter snow to clean out your garage will make spring cleaning that much easier.
Nitrogen is one of the main ingredients in fertilizer. These molecules are essential for plant health. Nitrogen is part of chlorophyll, which helps plants turn sunlight into energy. It’s also a component in amino acids that builds proteins in plants. Earth’s atmosphere contains a lot of nitrogen. As water molecules freeze to form snowflakes, they trap nitrogen molecules and float them down to the ground. When the snow melts, these nitrogen molecules are released into the soil. Snow is a natural way to deposit extra nitrogen into your plant soil, which helps farms produce a healthy crop yield.
Snow melt provides water source
Snow serves as major water resource for many areas. When large amounts of it accumulate over the winter, this precipitation is stored in mounds of snow until the springtime. As the water melts, it’s absorbed into the soil and feeds into streams and rivers. This replenishes the freshwater that’s used to supply you with water for bathing, drinking and watering crops. Also, snow melt also runs into lakes and rivers. Water energy can be harnessed from these sources as a renewable resource.
In conclusion, snow has a variety of practical uses around the house, on the farm and for the environment. It’s not always a winter wonderland, but snow is a cool part of nature. Next time you’re buried deep, trying to clear a path to your driveway, remember all the ways snow can be helpful.