(Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

As we gear up for the first big weather event of 2024, here are a few winter storm tips to help you get through it all.


Earlier this week, we looked ahead at the impact that the storm is likely to have on not just the Boston metro, but the region and the Atlantic coast. We’ve been tracking Winter Storm Ember over on Weather.com for updates. Of course, here in New England, the weather is the news, so pick your favorite local meteorologist. The locals and nationals agree, however: we’re getting inches this weekend.


So what’s your approach when there’s snow in the forecast? Do you use salt or sand? Are you a shoveler or a snowblower? Are you lucky enough to have a neighbor who plows? I have two, and for years they’ve been generous to me and saved my back a bit of wear and tear. No matter your winter routine, I think the tips I’ve shared below will help you weather this storm and the others yet to come.


Winter Storm Tips: 4 Ways to Make Clearing Snow Easier

The seed for this piece was planted by the Neponset Stormwater Partnership. They recently posted a call on their blog to use greener ice melt. As they put it: “Some de-icing chemicals harden the soil and make it too salty for plant growth, others overload it with nutrients that can reduce oxygen levels in nearby streams and ponds. Still, other products corrode concrete, roadways, bridges, and cars.”


So let’s talk about how we can keep our walkways and driveways clear of snow while also protecting our land. And let’s talk about how we can do all of that and keep our bodies healthy in the process. Winter in New England can be a beasts, but there are ways that we can tame it.

  • Use The Right Ice Melt

    The Neponset Stormwater Partnership advises against using rock salt, as sodium chloride is bad for our soil, water, plants and pets. They advise looking for ice melts marked “pet safe” and “CMA.”

  • Apply In Advance

    Ice melt melts ice, right? So you sprinkle it on the ice, right? Yes and yes. But, if you put it down before snow starts falling, it’s harder for ice to form on the surface, making it easier for shovels and plows later on.

  • Use The Right Shovel

    That old, wooden-handled, metal-spade shovel you’ve been using for years might be reliable, but it’s not efficient. Do a little research to find the right, modern model for you and your shoveling needs.

  • Bend Those Knees!

    Our usual instinct when shoveling is to stoop. Don’t do that! That’s how you injure your back. Years ago, I started having back problems, so I started seeing a chiropractor. Here’s his video on how best to shovel snow and save your back. This is where I have to mention that this is not a paid endorsement of any kind; I’m just sharing the information because it’s helped me and I think it can help you, too.

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