The U of MN in St Paul will save a fair amount of money with one smart move. They have a HUGE, north-facing staircase leading to a basement that is probably 45 feet wide. They reduced that for winter to about 15 feet still allowing plenty of space to get up and down the stairs but drastically reducing the amount of salt and labor necessary to keep them safe. Check it out in the video below.

Here are 8 free practices reducing salt use and expense on your property without compromising safety:

  1. As shown in the video, reduce the size of stairways to main entrances.
  2. Close winter access to unnecessary doors.
  3. If you have a sidewalk running the length of your building, don’t clear it. Have people walk through the parking lot to access the main door.
  4. Reduce the width of sidewalks to meet the needs of your tenants. Do you need a 20′ wide entry sidewalk or would 10 or 15′ work and keep salt away from your landscape?
  5. Don’t plow unused parking areas.
  6. Leave patios and plazas uncleared in winter.
  7. Have very clear, written, well-communicated expectations for use of salt on property.
  8. Educate your tenants on proper applications of sidewalk salt for when they are applying and so they can report excess use.
  9. BONUS!!! Require that snow removal contractors be certified with the MPCA in Salt Application.

What do you think? Do you have any more creative ways to reduce salt use on your property without adding costs? Add them in the comments below.

Have a great day!

Brad