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Winterizing outdoor spaces to reduce waste

When the leaves start turning and temperatures start dropping, it’s time to think about winterizing! You can reduce waste by taking care of your possessions and avoiding winter weather damage. Make sure to check your yard and garage, and take some of these simple steps. 

Prevent ice damage

  • Drain your rain barrel and empty it of any debris. Flip it upside down or bring it inside for the winter. Now is also a good time to fix hoses or leaky connections.
  • If you have outdoor water spigots, disconnect your hoses. Empty and bring them into a garage or sheltered space. Expanding ice can break your hose and freezing may make the material brittle. Hoses are not recyclable and are especially troublesome “tanglers” when wish-cycled so keep them working as long as possible!
  • Empty pools, ponds, and fountains and bring pumps inside. 

Care for your chemicals

  • Make sure you’ve stored paint, pesticides, etc. in a temperature-controlled space. Freezing can ruin some of these items! If you already made the mistake, make sure to dispose of them at a hazardous waste drop-off site and not in the trash.
  • Don’t let batteries freeze. Check rechargeable mowers, tools, and even small items like flashlights for batteries and bring them inside.
  • For gas-powered equipment, use up the gas or fill the tank and use a fuel stabilizer. Always consult your owners’ manual for specific care directions.
  • Propane tanks should be turned off and left outside.

Other tips

  • Organize your garage or shed, bringing items you will need for winter to the front and moving summer equipment to the back. This can minimize an unnecessary purchase or damage from toppling piles!
  • Bring in container plants when there is a risk of overnight frost. Tropical varieties may die from a light freeze.
  • Cover lawn furniture and sensitive perennial plants to protect them from harsh conditions.

Taking good care of your yard and garden equipment can make it last longer, meaning you get to save money on buying replacements and avoid throwing things away. Don’t let winter cause waste!