Salt does do a great job of melting ice and snow through the winter, but its pretty bad news for you, your pets, the environment and your garden. Pets get salt on their paws and this dries them out and causes cracking; salt corrodes metal, damages concrete and wreaks havoc on your garden and lawn.
With spring melt, all the accumulated salt ends up in your waterways, where the local wildlife may not survive the seasoning. You know that salt is bad for you, so here are some green alternatives to melt your winter ice.
Organic, Salt-free De-icer:
It's a little pricier than salt, but these products will help to keep your walkways and driveways ice-free.
Okay, this doesn't actually melt the ice, but it does provide traction for a more non-slip surface.
This is a natural de-icer, and while it won't harm your pets, corrode your metal or pit your concrete, it can be really bad news for your plants, so avoid using it near the garden.
This is a super effective, natural, green ice melting alternative. It's 100 percent natural, and is usually used as a fertilizer. It's grainy so it will provide traction and is extremely effective when used in moderation.
Sugar Beet Juice:
The juice from sugar beets lowers the melting point of ice and snow, which helps to clear your driveway. It's even been used to melt ice and snow on municipal roads in some areas. It's safe for animals, people, metals, concrete and plants. Beet juice is one of the only options which are effective below negative 20 degrees Celsius.
Sand or coffee grinds:
Sprinkle sand over your icy surfaces to provide traction, and the darker colors absorb more heat and help to melt snow and ice.
Don't underestimate the importance of shoveling. A good shovel will clear your drive while giving you a wicked workout, and it's the most natural, environmentally friendly and green way to get rid of ice and snow this winter.
Follow Nikki Fotheringham on Twitter: www.twitter.com/greenmoxie