Save your city—Build a snow fort
How can spending a fun few hours in the snow help you save your city?
(NC) Building a snow fort is one idea. This great Canadian pastime isn't just a fun activity for kids. Densely packed snow can help slow the flow of melted water to city sewer infrastructure during periods of heavy loads. Building your fort on top of your lawn can also encourage snowmelt to filter through the ground, rather than flow down streets, where it may pick up contaminants before entering sewer systems for eventual treatment.
Patrick Evans, author of the children's book Where the Snow Goes, says changing the way cities manage snow can also contribute to significant energy savings. Right now, most Canadian cities spend millions each winter on snow removal, paying for trucks to haul heavy snow across cities to dumping grounds.
“Montreal does the most snow removal in the world,” says Evans, who is also an environmental design professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal. “In 2006, the city's snowfall was equal to more than $140-million worth of cooling energy. That volume of snow is just waiting to be put in the right place. In Sundsvall, Sweden, for instance, a snow-cooling facility is used to naturally control the county hospital's indoor temperature.”
Evans says using snow to build forts or other sculptures on a broader scale can also play a part in building a stronger economy. “Making snow management creative and visible can define neighbourhoods. Tourists travel to see large-scale sculptures, for instance. Snow has tremendous potential to positively participate in city life.”
More winter water tips can be found through the RBC Blue Water Project at rbc.com/bluewater.
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